Only What I Feelby Patty Loveless
Legends often take some time to arrive. In Patty Loveless's case, she cut four underappreciated albums for MCA, then moved to Epic, underwent throat surgery, and returned to the studio with new purpose. Only What I Feel showcases her canny combination of a sophisticated, thoroughly modern attitude coupled to a honky-tonk heart. The opening track, "You Will," is a kick-ass rocker made more effective by Loveless's hard-country delivery. "Mr. Man in the Moon" is a two-step shuffle that practically reeks of sawdust on the floor. "Blame It on Your Heart" is a kinetic honky-tonk number that's guaranteed to induce dancing in the most sedentary listeners. Finally, "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" is an absolute tearjerker about letting go of loved ones. Loveless's intuitive sense of restraint keeps the tune from ever turning maudlin and makes it one of her greatest recorded moments. The wide emotional palette on display here makes clear why Loveless is one of the most respected singers of the '90s.
- Release Date:
- Sony Special Product
Performance CreditsPatty Loveless Primary Artist,Vocals
Technical CreditsSmokey Robinson Composer
Bob Bullock Engineer
Emory Gordy Producer
Michael Henderson Composer
Russ Martin Engineer
Wally Wilson Producer
Marry Anne Kennedy Composer
Don Phrimmer Composer
Burton Collins Composer
Karen Good Taylor Composer
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Having established herself at MCA, Loveless moved to Epic for this 1993 release following restorative throat surgery. The surgery and the label switch were both successes -- Loveless continued to have hits (including this album¿s ''Blame it on Your Heart''), and, more importantly, her pairing with producer/husband Emory Gordy, Jr. would result in a string of artistically triumphant albums.
For her Epic debut, Loveless pulls together traditional country fiddle-and-steel ballads, upbeat country-pop, and piano-laden weepers. As on her subsequent Epic albums, her song picking is exemplary. Though she and Gordy would take another couple of albums to really nail an original musical sound (1996¿s Trouble With the Truth and 1997¿s Long Stretch of Lonesome are filled with original arrangements and production touches not found here), their combined musicality is strong enough to keep this from ever turning into Nashville product.
Highlights include the spunky lead-off, ''You Will,'' the moving ballad, ''Nothing But the Wheel,'' the nostalgic, blue ''Mr. Man in the Moon,'' and the tongue-tripping ''Blame it on Your Heart.'' ''How Can I Help You Say Goodbye'' is one in a string of songs closing Loveless¿ Epic LPs that contemplate final departure and afterlife (e.g., ''Over My Shoulder'' ''Someday I Will Lead the Parade'' ''Where I¿m Bound'' ''Pieces on the Ground'').
As a Patty Loveless album, this is a good effort, with a few stellar tracks, but not up to the level she and Gordy would obtain a couple of years later on. For just about any other singer of her generation, an album of this quality would be an unqualified home run. Worth having as part of your Loveless¿ collection, but not the place to start.