Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Shelby Lynne - Tears, Lies & Alibis

Quietly coming from nowhere, Shelby Lynne has released an album boasting some of the best songs of her entire career. With her trailor-trash blonde beauty and tough-cookie persona, her silky Dusty-esque timbre ought to sell for millions. The fiercely independent country/rock not-pop singer releases her stripped back Tears, Lies & Alibis. The more I listen, the more I am amazed - an acoustic-and-voice collection that will lift you in your lowest or most pensive search for some kind of redemption.

The light acoustic shower of Rains Came is the jaunty opener stretched to the impossible length of 2:25 minutes. Why Didn't You Call Me is even shorter. These first two songs - neither lasting longer than 2 minutes each - are mere bait, but she's a gifted singer and her jazz-folk songs are arranged to stregnthen her lyrics. She's finding the subtle details that she craves with generous ease.

The poignant Like A Fool is half a dozen tattoos from being a softer Ani Difranco song. Her touching eloquence blossoms on all 10 tracks. The sultry Alibi is almost cinematic, I can only hope she never tires of being disappointed by her lovers.

The torchly Something To Be Said About Air is a 3:34 minute of climactic poetry, it's almost jazz. Too gritty to be anything near edgy, Family Tree is a smouldering gear shift (faster strums basically, think Kelly Llorenna by herself in a toilet cubicle). The sultry and seductive Loser Dreamer is self-amused and settles into your heart like a sunset. This is the sound of day-later melancholy, I totally see glimpses of myself wanting to say these things myself.

Shelby's buy-now pay-later love orders 'make it a double' on Old #7. Her stubborn vocal contours on Old Dog ('there must be someone out there somewhere') suggests a brave future. Her rich vocal flavours flesh out Home Sweet Home, a sentimental song sung sweetly as if it's cold outside.

Subjugating melody to the natural music of language itself, her hardened-Dusty crooning, romantic dilemmas and pensive reflections satisfy an intensity and softness. Impressively cunning. Songs worth going back to.

1 comment:

Mike said...

This sounds AMAZING! I'll have to hunt it down.