Music Review: Shelby Lynne, “Just a Little Lovin’” (Lost Highway)
Shelby Lynne could not sing a dishonest syllable if she tried, but whether it’s record labels that don’t know what they’ve got or producers with misguided notions of material or arrangements, the right elements rarely come together for the countrypolitan siren. Lynne’s 10th disc, Just a Little Lovin’, puts her emotion-drenched vocals to work on songs made famous by the late Dusty Springfield, but the music surrounding Lynne rarely matches the singer’s clear passion for the songs.
Roughly half the material on Just a Little Lovin’ appeared on Springfield’s 1969 classic, Dusty in Memphis, and the cover art echoes that vaunted blue-eyed soul landmark, as well. But the deficiencies become obvious on the opening title track: the lushness of Springfield’s original is replaced by Phil Ramone’s twilight acoustic production. Lynne brings ache and longing to the song, but it lacks the sensuality of the Memphis arrangements by Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd.
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