Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Shame & Shelby Lynne


Why do we write? We write because we want to have an impact on the reader; to reach him or her and cause some mental movement. We write because we think we have something to say. But the catch here is that until we try to write it, we don't actually know what the hell we are thinking. Writing explains us to ourselves. And by putting stuff down on paper, in public, we sometimes put something out there that we have to live up to.

Or maybe we shame ourselves into action, like I did with my post Spotified Ambivalence, where I confessed that I had been listening to a lot of Shelby Lynne online, but had yet to lay down any cold hard cash to signify my allegiance. That was nibbling away at me, so one day last week I flipped through iTunes and paid my 9.99 for her super-fine LP of 2003, Identity Crisis, on which Shelby composed every song herself. This is the perfect lead cut, Telephone. Worthy of mention: the way the backing vocals shift around from straight harmony to call and response; the deep acoustic bass and the virtuosic jazz-inflected guitar solo; and, above all, the leader's masterful vocals. Shame put behind me, I can declare in good faith that Shelby Lynne is my new favorite artist.

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