Personnel: Shelby Lynne (vocals, guitar); Bill Payne (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Larry Antonio, John Button (upright bass); Kevin Ricard (percussion); Maxin Waters, Oren waters (background vocals).
Recorded at Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, California.
An IDENTITY CRISIS for Shelby Lynne is no big surprise, considering that she began her career as the jazziest singer in Nashville, with predictably uncommercial results. Her previous two albums found Lynne making her bid for Sheryl Crow/Shawn Colvin-style pop stardom with big production and pop-rock aesthetics. This time around, she's producing herself, and the arrangements tend toward the opposite extreme; a bare-bones format with the rhythm section working around Lynne's voice and her (mostly acoustic) guitar. Whether Lynne is reclaiming her own identity or simply working with a smaller budget in the wake of disappointing sales figures, the change is a welcome one. The songs feel earthier, rootsier, and much closer to Lynne's heart, allowing her impressive voice to wring out all the inherent soul. Whether or not it's her ticket to stardom, IDENTITY CRISIS is one of Lynne's most personal and artistically successful statements.
What the critics say…
Entertainment Weekly (9/26/03, p.94) - "…Lynne is so in her element with this self-produced, mostly self-performed, largely acoustic set of folk-soul that you have to believe the title's a deliberate misnomer…" - Rating: A-
Q (12/03, p.132) - 3 stars out of 5 - "…A stark record that showcases her unsettlingly direct vocals…"
Uncut (11/03, p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 - "…Full of emotionally potent songs sung in that sultry, just-behind-the beat drawl…"
Mojo (Publisher) (1/04, p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]he weight of musical and emotional heritage only adds to the compelling effect of the whole. Not just an album but a friend in need."