Shelby Lynne is a country singer, but this time around she looks to the song styling of Dusty Springfield. Lynne won the “best new artist” Grammy after a short absence from the music scene although she’d been recording for at least ten years at the time. She even portrayed Carrie Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.
Now Lynne and Grammy award winning producer Phil Ramone step back to the 60s and look for inspiration in the songs of Dusty Springfield and also drop in a new song (“Pretend”). I’ll admit that my Springfield knowledge springs from the “Look of Love” which was in the nutty James Bond parody Casino Royale (again from the 60s) “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “I Only Want to Be With You,” and “Anyone Who had a Heart.”
Lynne performs the songs (that I was familiar with) admirably and there’s a certain intimacy to them. They’re very pared down, no big bands here. It’s a very good album for both fans of Lynne and Springfield.
I still thought of Casino Royale (mea culpa) when the “Look of Love” came on, but I thought that this was a spectacular album from a modern singer looking to the past for inspiration – and finding it in grand fashion.