Picks and Pans Review: Identity Crisis
Greeted with a fanfare fit for the second coming of Patsy Cline when she made her debut in 1989 (under the tutelage of Cline’s famed producer Billy Sherill), Lynne didn’t quite live up to expectations. Then, three years ago, she finally delivered with her fine I Am Shelby Lynne, which inexplicably earned her the Grammy for Best New Artist even though it was her sixth album. Now, after a pop-flavored misstep (2001’s Love, Shelby, overproduced by Glen Ballard), she’s back with a beauty. It’s a bluesy mix of heartache-drenched country ballads, good-time drinking songs, defiant rockers and one lonesome, jazz-inflected blues tune. Lynne channels Cline on the gorgeous “Crazy” knockoff “Lonesome” and bop maestro Chet Baker on the haunting “I Will Stay.” Maybe she should clear space for a Comeback of the Year award next to her rookie trophy.