I began this review my first thought was, will I be able to do justice
to the incredible journey that Bettye LaVette and company took me
on, and most importantly, will I be able to express the ultimate
satisfaction I received from this release?
So you can imagine my surprise when I opened the booklet and there were
songs by country artists Rosanne Cash and Dolly Parton, and rock artists
such as Lucinda Williams, Fiona Apple and Sinead O'Connor. (Yup, THAT
Sinead O'Connor, a far cry from Carla Thomas I might add ). And when the
first song started, an unaccompanied version of O'Connor's "I Do Not
Want What I Haven't Got," I sat there wide-eyed and speechless.
Then it all fell into place. What is soul anyway? Webster's Dictionary defines soulful as "full of or expressing feeling or emotion." And what we have here are ten of the most soulful songs you will ever hear.
Soul can come by way of an artist's voice or from an artist's paint brush. Artist Ernie Barnes' painting for the cover of Marvin Gaye's I Want You album was about as soulful as art can get, as was Picasso's abstract paintings. They all were feelings from within their souls.
So then, this is a great album, a great
Then there is the obscure country song by
Bobbie Cryner, "Just Say So." Listen to the ending of this song, where
Bettye repeats "say it" four times before ending with the emotion laden
"just say so." At this point, I knew that Bettye and producer Joe Henry
had succeeded in making this a unique and successful outing. The
emotional peaks that Bettye reaches with her incredible voice, caresses
you with its pain, passion and tenderness.
And oh yes, thank you for not doing "Gee Whiz."
--- Alan Shutro
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Revised: August 31, 2005 - Version 1.00
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