Shelby Lynne

Identity Crisis

Shelby Lynne is the best white pop goddess of her type since Dusty Springfield. She possesses all the smoky soulfulness of k.d. lang after, say, a prolonged exposure to Bobbie Gentry. On Identity Crisis, she returns to the sound of her 2000 breakthrough I Am Shelby Lynne, after a side trip to slickly produced pop on 2001’s Love, Shelby. This is an intimate, late-night record, with such downcast ballads as “I Don’t Think So” and “I Will Stay,” redolent of bourbon drunk and cigarettes smoked. Those are juxtaposed with more upbeat heart-on-sleeve numbers like “Lonesome,” which jump out of the speakers like an old Patsy Cline record. Lynne is an important American singer. Did I invoke enough magic words to make you want this? Good.