Preconceived Notions: I’ve heard “Son of a preacher Man”, it’s nice….not necessarily my thing, but not horrendous. I don’t really remember her voice, so I guess I’m about to get reacquainted.
After Listening: There’s some sizable production on this record. From having to capture the wide variety of instruments: sitar, organ, harmonica, violins etc…to the subtle stereo imaging (drums on the “right) there was a lot of thought put to the overall arrangements on here. I have to say at times, it’s a bit too much – whereas the “hit” Son of a Preacher Man has a nearly gritty guitar line, with punchy horns for accents – at the same time it lends enough room in the soundscape to showcase Dusty’s voice. That can’t be said for all of the album however, particularly on those tracks where the string sections have prominent roles. This is a vocal work primarily and where I think it lacks somewhat is when Dusty’s voice gets a little lost in dense, slow tempo arrangements. If she’s really the “white queen of soul” feature her voice on songs that show off depths, and some works with edge…half of the songs on this are standard torch songs which musically are boring.
Least Favorite: “Just One Smile” for a song under 3 mins, this thing seems like an eternity. Just fairly stagnant, with an overly reliance on its chorus and not much development other than that.
Overall 2.83 This just isn’t my thing. I like my soul music a little less “torch” and a splashed with a touch of “funk”. I felt like on this album I was reminded more of Patsy Cline, than Etta James. Dusty’s voice is certainly capable, and the actual pieces of a great record are all here – variety of instruments, great vocalists, quality recording and mixing. But something is just “off” here, most of the songs feel too static- they seem to bury Dusty instead of promote her, they feel forgettable and long winded even though most are under 3 and ½ minutes. I could see why people identify and enjoy Dusty- I just don’t hear enough on this album to agree with a classic status.