Shelby Lynne is not your typical country singer. In her own style, she weaves pieces of Shawn Colvin’s folk spirit, Reba Mcentire’s country, Diana Krall’s Jazz, and most recently, Dusty Springfield’s soul.
This album, titled “Just a Little Lovin’,” pays tribute to the iconic 60’s songstress by featuring nine cover songs that Lynne cleverly makes her own and an original inspired by Springfield.
The title track is the first of a long line of Springfield covers that immediately grabs your attention. Listeners discover early on of Lynne’s ability to not be artificial. She sings straightforward blues and soul that penetrates straight to the heart.
The track, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” centers on a quiet piano, snare drum and Lynne’s sultry alto. The sincere ballad was first written by Burt Bacharach and sung by Dionne Warwick and later Springfield.
Now, Lynne rekindles the same spirit of the original that will be adored by old souls and leaves newly introduced fans wanting more.
“You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” opens with an impressive vocal intro that slides into a quiet instrumental accompaniment. Blues and Soul create a theme for this tune with a style comparable to newcomer Cat Power or K.D. Lang.
“I Only Want to Be With You,” is another exceptional tune. Accompanied by Lynne’s subtle southern draw she delivers a song that is both delicate and romantic. Although Springfield’s rendition has a playful 60’s pop charged beat, Lynne’s lounge remake is dreamy and soothing.
“The Look of Love,” keeps the same silky and alluring feel of the original. Lynne shows that she can keep with her soul idol and delivers a work that is defiantly up to par.
“Breakfast in Bed,” is another great song that is even better than Springfield’s version. Lynne stays true to the song and gives it all she’s got. The same goes for “I Don’t Want to Hear it Anymore.” Lynne truly understands the lyrics of songs and tells their story well.
“Willie and Laura Mae Jones,” is easy to fall in love with. Complete with slide guitar, banjo, and Lynne’s raw voice, this song is gritty and soulful while holding the sound of the Deep South.
Lynne got back to her country roots and showed her versatility and her talent to perform two genres and do a flawless job.
“How Can I Be Sure,” and “Pretend” are probably the best acoustic songs on the record. “How Can I Be Sure” is great because it’s so different from versions done in the past.
It’s a great love song that is laid back and organic.”Pretend” is more ear-wrenching than any of the songs, sung with a hint of sadness in the vocals that stem from her hard past.
Lynne has released a compilation of love tales that are bittersweet but defiantly something you can relate to. Sometimes utter bliss and other times terribly painful, she brings beauty to both. This is an exceptional record with depth and substance that would certainly make Miss Springfield proud.