Home Read Classic Album Review: Shelby Lynne | Identity Crisis

Classic Album Review: Shelby Lynne | Identity Crisis

The country singer-songwriter gets back to basics — and back on the right track.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Three years ago, underdog country diva Shelby Lynne released her sixth and best CD: The spectacular I Am Shelby Lynne, a disc that established her as a tough yet tender songstress and won her a Grammy for Best New Artist, of all things.

Sadly — but hardly atypically for the music biz — she followed it up with her worst album: The overly slick Love, Shelby, which found her submitting to the will of coimmercial shlockmeister Glen Ballard and posing for cheesecake cover pics. Thankfully, Lynne has got herself back on the right track with the aptly titled Identity Crisis. And she did it the old-fashioned way — by getting right back to basics. This intimate 40-minute gem has a dozen songs written, produced, played and sung by Lynne, backed only by the understated work of a skilled band highlighted by Little Feat keyboard master Bill Payne. Styles vary from the woozy groove of Telephone, the wah-wah roots-rock of Gotta Be Better and the jump-blues of Rocks to the melancholy of If I Were Smart, the lush countripolitan shimmer of Lonesome and the Bonnie Raittish blues-rock of Evil Man and Buttons and Beaus. But whatever direction she takes on Identity Crisis, you never lose the feeling that you’re spending some quality time getting to know the real Shelby.


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