Identity Crisis

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Shelby Lynne is hard to pin down. She began in 1989 as a country artist, dabbled in western swing on 1993's Temptation, then resurfaced in 2000 with the soulful, string-laden I Am Shelby Lynne, for which she won a Best New Artist Grammy. After collaborating with Glen Ballard on 2001's Love, Shelby, a set of glossy, pop productions that were miles from her country beginnings, she's off in a different direction for the aptly titled Identity Crisis. It's a rootsy, southern-flavored collection of intimate, spacious songs, recorded with a stripped-down band of bass, percussion, and keyboards from Little Feat's great Bill Payne supporting Lynne's guitar and husky, sultry ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Shelby Lynne is hard to pin down. She began in 1989 as a country artist, dabbled in western swing on 1993's Temptation, then resurfaced in 2000 with the soulful, string-laden I Am Shelby Lynne, for which she won a Best New Artist Grammy. After collaborating with Glen Ballard on 2001's Love, Shelby, a set of glossy, pop productions that were miles from her country beginnings, she's off in a different direction for the aptly titled Identity Crisis. It's a rootsy, southern-flavored collection of intimate, spacious songs, recorded with a stripped-down band of bass, percussion, and keyboards from Little Feat's great Bill Payne supporting Lynne's guitar and husky, sultry vocals. With the exception of the Patsy Cline/Owen Bradley homage "Lonesome" -- which features a big, orchestral production -- Identity Crisis has the sparse, spontaneous feel of home demos; it's a captivating listen. From the gospel workout "10 Rocks" to the searing blues of "Evil Man" to the jazzy swing of "Baby," Lynne touches on a variety of traditional styles without ever sounding overtly retro. Whether on the introspective ballads "I Don't Think So" and "If I Were Smart" or on the driving "Gonna Be Better," her expressive, quietly powerful vocals make Identity Crisis Shelby Lynne's most personal album. There's no crisis here.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
In giving Shelby Lynne's Identity Crisis even a cursory listen one has to ask the question as to whether the titles of Love, Shelby and this one were reversed by accident. While Love, Shelby, produced by Glen Ballard, was a schizoid mess of R&B, rock, and whatever, Identity Crisis is a deeply focused yet wildly adventurous look at American roots and popular musics as processed by Lynne, who is in top songwriting, vocal, and production shape here. Acting as her own producer with help from mixing engineer Bruce Robb, Lynne has penned 12 tough songs that showcase her true gift for lyricism and melody and display the real reach of her vocal prowess on a series of rootsy, souled-out -- sometimes psychedelic -- rockers and pop tunes. The sheer rock & roll abandon of "Gotta Get Better" could have been recorded by Beck, whereas the shimmering, down-tempo folkiness of "I Don't Think So," with gorgeous Fender Rhodes touches by Billy Payne of Little Feat, is harrowing in its heartbroken candor and seductive with its sultry melody that crosses Dusty Springfield with Scott Walker. Elsewhere, such as on the loopy, funky B-3-drenched "I'm Alive," Sheryl Crow's dark side meets the razor-sharp lyric sensibilities of John Mellencamp's Scarecrow-era material. But then, on "Lonesome," the classic countrypolitan-style honky tonk of Owen Bradley with Patsy Cline, or Chet Atkins with Connie Smith comes flowing through like honey in a sieve. The easy bluesy swing -- à la Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith -- on "Buttons and Beaus" is a something Bonnie Raitt might have recorded in the early '70s, if she had a razor's-edge delivery and skewed sense of humor. The tough, acoustic Chicago blues colored by a B-3 makes a standout of "Evil Man." The Tin Pan Alley-meets-Donovan touch on "One With the Sun" makes it the perfect closer, a loopy love song with clever lyrics, pastoral, romantic strings, and a melody that comes from timeless American pop music. Suffice to say, that while Lynne's career has produced many fine recordings -- I Am Shelby Lynne from 2000 being a recent case in point -- Identity Crisis is easily the most consistent record she had released since Tough All Over in 1990, and is without a doubt the most moving, ambitious, and elegant album of her career thus far. She sets a new standard for singers and songwriters with this collection, making it a candidate for any serious Top Ten of 2003. There is no identity crisis here, just the indelible mark of a mature, intense, always engaging artist.
Rolling Stone - Pat Blashill
Shelby Lynne, like k.d. lang and Willie Nelson before her, is making a career out of freeing country from its own constrictions.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
Lynne is so in her element... that you have to wonder if the title's a deliberate misnomer. (A-)

Shelby Lynne, like k.d. lang and Willie Nelson before her, is making a career out of freeing country from its own constrictions.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2003
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724359050829
  • Catalog Number: 90508
  • Sales rank: 71,884

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Telephone (3:50)
  2. 2 10 Rocks (2:45)
  3. 3 If I Were Smart (3:35)
  4. 4 Gotta Be Better (2:50)
  5. 5 I Don't Think So (3:34)
  6. 6 I'm Alive (3:34)
  7. 7 I Will Stay (2:57)
  8. 8 Lonesome (3:17)
  9. 9 Evil Man (4:32)
  10. 10 Buttons and Beaus (2:53)
  11. 11 Baby (3:43)
  12. 12 One With the Sun (2:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Shelby Lynne Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Bill Payne Piano, Hammond Organ, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Kevin Ricard Percussion
Maxine Willard Waters Vocals
Oren Waters Vocals
Larry Antonino Upright Bass
Jon Button Upright Bass
Technical Credits
Shelby Lynne Composer, Producer
Ron McMaster Mastering
Bruce Robb Producer, Engineer
Eric Roinestad Art Direction
Elizabeth Jordan Executive Producer
George Del Barrio String Arrangements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Shelby Lynne

    One of Shelby Lynne's best albums, mixing country, rock, and blues for fun and meaningful songs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great New Find!

    I had never even HEARD of Shelby until I happened across this CD at a B&N Store and listened to it then and there. I bought the CD that day. Her calming voice and relaxing, upbeat music was just what I was looking for. Who knew this was a country gal?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    No crisis here - just great music

    After trying her hand at slickly-produced, radio friendly pop with her last album, Shelby Lynne returns to what she does best - her own thing. Her new album defies convention by combining elements of old-school country, folk, jazz, and rock, a seemingly dangerous move, but one that ultimately pays off in a truly unique package. The slick studio production is replaced by a raw and unpolished sound that harkens back to the days when music was real, and indeed that is what Shelby Lynne's music is - real. With insightful lyrics, engaging melodies, and her trademark husky, world-worn voice, Shelby Lynne gives back to the music industry what it has been lacking in recent years - great music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Shelby is back - in force

    If you were enthralled by I Am Shelby Lynne, and disappointed with Love, Shelby, then you are about to get a really pleasant surprise when you open this gem. Shelby shows off her incredible voice and superb songwriting talents. She has something here for just about everyone. "Ten Rocks" is a really catchy piece; "One With The Sun" seems timeless; and "If I Were Smart" will have you crying by the time it is done. The title "Identity Crisis" must be the greatest joke of all time - because as far as I am concerned Shelby's identity is confirmed - as super-versatile and incredibly talented. Add to all of this that Shelby is back out on the road - and even played with my very favorite band Los Lonely Boys. WOW! I am *very* glad that you are back!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews