Riss’s Ramblings – Dusty in Memphis

Pre-conceived Notions:  This was a curiosity pick for me.  What I’ve heard of Dusty Springfield I really like, but I’d never listened to an entire album.  I’m hoping to like it.  It seems like it’d pretty much be in my wheelhouse.

After listening:  This album has convinced me of many things.  Firstly, that I was born in the wrong decade.  Or if I’m a reincarnation, it’s of someone who was (most likely) a British girl with a transistor radio in 1969.  This isn’t just my wheelhouse, this is like one of the building blocks on which my wheelhouse is built.  I can’t believe I haven’t heard this whole thing before.  I’m not even able to judge the music fairly.  Secondly, that my curiosity tends to lead me, more often, towards the awesome.  So that’s good news.  Dusty Springfield’s voice is unbelievable.  She never tries to overdo anything, like Aretha (despite Wikipedia claiming that she’s one of Dusty’s and every other female singers’ idols) or Patty LaBelle or Mariah or Christina.  I’m not really worried that she didn’t write any of the songs on this.  When you have a voice that captures even more emotion than the songwriter probably intended, your voice is all you need.  Every song is a moment in a story, and that’s the beauty of soul music.

Favorite Tracks:
Just a Little Lovin’- what a great way to start off an album.  It’s the perfect overcast Sunday morning play.
Son of a Preacher Man- Who hasn’t heard this?  I love the horn orchestration.  I also love that Aretha Franklin initially turned this down and then when she saw what Dusty Springfield did with it, she reconsidered, thinking she could do it better.  She couldn’t.  This has more of a standout bass line than a lot of the other songs on here.
Also, the one-two punch at the end of “No Easy Way Down” and “Can’t Make it Alone” are worthy of mention.
Least Favorite- I can’t come up with any.

Overall: 5.0- either I’m feeling really generous today, or this album is as good as all the hype.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get home and buy it, so that warrants a 5 for me.

Riss (46 Posts)

Raised in the Midwest, Marissa feels that she has absolutely no good defense for liking what she likes or nominating what she nominates. She likes it that way. With a preference for the indie music scene, there was a time before (alright a rough adolescence) filled with oldies, then country, then pop. She was an unabashed slave to Nsync, and boy bands in general, but not Backstreet Boys, god no! But that has passed. Marissa is passionate about music and about caring about music (and caring about things in general). She considers herself a stereotype, a cliche and a conundrum, all at the same time. When not listening to music Marissa enjoys watching movies, that she will sometimes review on her blog. She is an avid reader and a seasoned podcaster.


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