Shelby Lynne – CountryMusicNews.De Review

Translated from German

Shelby Lynne’s self-titled album is in a class of its own.
It has to mean something that Shelby Lynne self-titled her 16th album: Is “Shelby Lynne” a return, a rebirth or the album of a changed personality? Well, first of all, it’s a very strong CD.

Conspiracy theorists and there are currently more than enough of them, will sound the alarm at the sight of the cover: The face of Shelby Lynne can be seen in close-up – her subtly grayed, short-cut hair blow-dried, the blue eyes looking steel blue and – here it comes – wearing a kind of mouthguard. Hm, will the conspiracy theorists suspect, hm, did she see the corona crisis, the need, the shutdown, and the masks coming?

Rather not. Probably coincidence just had his fingers in the game again (which fanatics will certainly not calm down). But even without prophetic qualities, the cover design now has a strange, highly topical component after the whole world has gone mad. But that’s not the only reason why the album fits into our time. Because what Shelby Lynne offers musically and in terms of content with her 16th album is a whole lot: eleven tracks with brains, hearts and a wide range of emotions.

“Shelby Lynne” has a special status
“Shelby Lynne” has a special status in the work of the Grammy-decorated artist from Quantico, Virginia. Also because it was mostly created in collaboration with the Texan writer, director, and screenwriter Cynthia Mort and her independent film “We Kill The Creators”. She wrote more than half of the tracks during the filming of the film, in which Lynne – after ” Walk The Line ” – will be seen again as an actress.

About the new album, Shelby Lynne says that “everything is fake and artificial” these days, but she wants to be “real” – with honest songs that “hide behind nothing”. That doesn’t sound like expensive studio cosmetics, on the contrary. In fact, the usual sound-enhancing of the modern studio make-up case played no audible role in the sessions for “Shelby Lynne”. Even overdubs cannot be identified. Just take the title “Here I Am”. In the four-minute track, Allison Moorer’s sister only accompanies an acoustic piano, supposedly recorded by only one microphone. She wanted to be “real” – she is! Even small fluctuations in the modulation or timing of the piano accompaniment were accepted in order to capture the much-vaunted “magic of the moment”. It couldn’t be more real …

In terms of vocals, Shelby Lynne is in a class of its own
In many of the songs, Shelby Lynne takes care of the entire instrumentation himself, plays the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and sometimes also uses the saxophone. Occasionally, however, experts like Benmont Tench, Billy Mitchell, and Ed Roth are at your side. As good as these studio cracks may be: Shelby Lynne, the singer, can be heard on “Shelby Lynne”. The song “Weather” shows perfectly how the 51-year-old phrased phrases, dosed the dynamics and juggled with a wide variety of styles. In the ballad created in the carried six-eighth groove, she casually and skillfully mixes stylistic elements from soul and jazz with folk and gospel. The result is a song that fits into a bar and a church at the same time. In addition, the track is a good example of that music needs tension. In the case of “Weather”, it is simply put on the brakes and the accelerator. While her companions on piano, double bass, acoustic guitar, and drums act stoically and reservedly, Shelby Lynn – with increasing duration of the almost five-minute title – presses hard on the tube…

Conclusion: On her self-titled album “Shelby Lynne”, the Grammy winner once again shows what she can do: songs with depth and warmth – interpreted fantastically.

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shelby lynne 2020 album cover photo by Amanda Demmeshelby lynne 2020 album cover photo by Amanda Demme