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Identity Crisis

4 customer reviews

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Amazon's Shelby Lynne Store


Image of album by Shelby Lynne


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Shelby Lynne was destined to be a singer. Born a singer. She was raised in rural Alabama by musical parents who stressed individuality and the importance of standing apart from others. A terrible student, but avid reader, she loved the written lyric and a beautiful melody. Around the house she was surrounded by country music from the past, Hank Williams, Dottie West, Waylon Jennings, as well ... Read more in Amazon's Shelby Lynne Store

Visit Amazon's Shelby Lynne Store
for 26 albums, 10 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Oct. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music UK
  • ASIN: B0000DG5N1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,116 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Telephone
2. 10 Rocks
3. If I Were Smart
4. Gonna Be Better
5. I Don't Think So
6. I'm Alive
7. I Will Stay
8. Lonesome
9. Evil Man
10. Buttons And Beaus
11. Baby
12. One With The Sun

Product Description


Shelby Lynne wrote, sang, produced and played all the guitar parts on her mellow, moody and sonically stripped-down eighth album, Identity Crisis. Surely the title ironically refers to Lynne's eclectic career itself rather than this slow-burning, excellent album, with its lyrics so personal and honest, it makes one feel like a voyeur at times. Identity Crisis sounds like a living-room session; the demos made for the big album before the hot-shot producer came in and ruined everything. Lynne's voice is as relaxed, assured and as richly emotive as ever, buoyed by acoustic bass and guitars, electric piano, and minimal percussion. Notable deviations from the candlelit vibe include the mid-tempo rocker "Gotta Be Better" (which sounds like PJ Harvey jamming with the American band X), the gospel chorus that peaks through on "10 Rocks" (the record's sole hokey tune) and of course "Lonesome" (a gorgeous old-school Nashville-sheen tune that expertly evokes Patsy Cline with multi-tracked vocals and sweeping strings). The story goes that a lengthy phone conversation with Willie Nelson led to the lovely, uplifting last tune, "One with the Sun". Which is a nice thought, because if this album is reminiscent of anybody, it's Nelson circa Red Headed Stranger. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter Frans on 15 Dec. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is an album that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. I thought I'd never hear this kind of music again. It's intimate, serene and ... the melodies are heartbreakingly beautiful, the sound is warm, simple and acoustic and Shelby has the voice of an angel.
It's a very homogeneous yet eclectic and never repetitive collection of songs. For some reason it reminds me of Paul Simon's "There goes Rhymin' Simon" - perhaps it's that mixture of nostalgia and timeless, down to earth songwriting on the one hand, and a very soft and subtle instrumentation on the other.
"One with the sun" may be the best new song I've heard in a decade. This is not the kind of music that record companies pay attention to, but you should.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Geoffrey M. Teece on 3 Nov. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is the album that, maybe, should have followed the Grammy Award winning 'I am Shelby Lynne'. It has a similar smouldering, bluesy feeling but is even more personal,stripped down and intimate. It is a 'slow burner' alright and a very fine album too. The first track 'Telephone' and last 'One With the Sun'are as good as any song by Shelby Lynne with plenty of other highlights from a record that will grow and grow on you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Carmichael on 17 Mar. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Shelby Lynne is quite a unique performer. Few people write songs like some of the songs on this album anymore, beautifully crafted, intimate, reflective, romantic but romance tinged with uncertainty, regret, longing. Songs like 'Telephone', 'If I Were Smart', 'I Don't Thinks So', 'I Will Stay' and 'One With Sun' are all different takes on love and regret, sung with Shelby's beautiful, warm, breathy voice. The other tracks though for me offer an unintentioned reflection on the album title 'Identity Crisis', in that there's such a disparate variety of styles; blues and gospel, rock, old fashioned country, and songs that wouldn't be lost in a west end show. Shelby is clearly a true musician and as such obviously enjoys a wide variety of musical styles, but put them together in an album and, for me, something of the personal individual artist can be lost, the coherence of an album can be dissipated. I think that is why my first impression of the album was one of uncertainty. With more listenings though I started to love it as much as her other albums and, being a great fan of Shelby Lynne, I was relieved to realise that it was another wonderful addition to her catalogue. For me Shelby Lynne is a superstar. Her 'Identity Crisis' seems real at times with her seeming to be uncertain as to musical direction, but for me she is one of the most human, authentic, passionate and principled artists around. I feel blessed to have discovered her music.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stevie Maudsley on 12 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
"This is Shelby Lynne" is one of my favourite albums. For me, it is an outstanding recording. Sadly, the follow up: "Love Shelby" was not. It reeked of a Dawson's Creek type of middle-teen America target and, the remarkable cover of Lennon's "Mother" aside, was very ordinary. This new album certainly is not ordinary. It is full of soulful mourn and upbeat swing and has been scandalously overlooked in the run down of the best albums of 2003. Great stuff.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 39 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A Return to Form 17 Nov. 2003
By Larry White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is a huge relief. After her last record 'Love, Shelby'(following on the heels of her Grammy-winning 'I Am Shelby Lynne'), we thought we had lost her. She certainly had lost us. Everything about that cd was wrong, from her sex-kitten poses on the covers (well, maybe not that wrong), to the mediocre material, to the strident and overbearing production by 'hit-maker' Glen Ballard, who mistook Shelby for Alanis. Now with a new record company (which, along with the insinuating title of the current cd, leads us to believe that her last effort was not all her doing) and with herself at the creative controls, Lynne has made a very successful return to form. The songs, all written by Lynne, are tuneful and personal. Her honey and grits vocals are mixed up-front, so she feels like she's in the room. Her versatility is demonstrated with bits of rock, country, blues, gospel and, of course, those heart-tugging ballads. Confoundingly, with her 'Identity Crisis', Shelby Lynne seems to have hit her stride. If so, her future bodes even better.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Shelby returns to her strengths 27 Sept. 2003
By Karl Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thank heaven this album is more "I Am Shelby Lynn" than "Love, Shelby".
Working with Glenn Ballard (Alannis's producer) was such a crucial miscalculation - and probably took a lot of steam out of what was a career height in the wake of Shelby's Grammy winning "I Am.." project. Here, Shelby returns to her strengths - serious Memphis-style soul, country ballads that ache and uplift, and instrumentation that accompanies, rather than drowns out that gorgeous voice.
You can't help but clap along with "10 Rocks", the best song on this disc - it's a Shelby written original (all of this disc was written and produced by Shelby), a gospel tinges blues number that features some awesome piano playing by Billy Payne of Little Feet. "Lonesome" is the closest thing you will get nowadays to the kind of music Patsy Cline used to perform (take a hint, Leanne Rimes). And the hushed sounds of two beautiful songs "If I Were Smart" and "I Don't Think So" are strong statements on the power and emotion that Shelby pours into her vocals.
It's great to have this wonderful singer back doing the kind of music that fits her voice - and it is clear that the "Identity Crisis" that her last album represented has been resolved favorably.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Call me Ms. Lynne 21 Dec. 2004
By Tankery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The first time I saw Shelby Lynne she was on some award show with Sheryl Crow several years ago. She was out singing her and sexier and trashier and all that. She was kicking [...] and Crow was like she always was, pretty flat singing but technically great of course and rather dull. Back then Shelby was more Gretchen Wilson than Gretchen Wilson is now. Then I went out and bought that album with Shelby on the front in cutoffs and all tanned and blonde. Love, Shelby. Yes, sir. The cover was a lot better than the music, I thought.
Then awhile back I saw this woman on television. The Directv screen said it was Shelby Lynn. No, it wasn't. Shelby Lynne was that singer who looks like the most attractive single mother in that bar across the street from the Chrysler Plant, cigarette in hand, and she bends over a pool table.
The woman Directv said was Shelby Lynne looked like an androgynous Bell Hop in a fancy New York hotel. That couldn't be Shelby!
There was no tan on this woman. Her hair was white, not blonde. What a transition! But then I bought Identity Crisis. What an album! It blew that cheap-o album produced by Mr. Morrisette,( what's his name?) out of the water.
Shelby's transition was probably less a fear of skin cancer than the types of crowds she was drawing. (Hey, boys! Shelby's up there! Got some chew?)
This album brings Ms. Lynne to the place she should be. Bluesy, and country. Shades of Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline and even a little Buddy Guy.
Shelby's identity crisis is our musical windfall. This is a textured, brilliantly understated album that shows just how talented Shelby is. She goes back to her roots or maybe just discovers her roots. 6 stars. (But does she really say Flo for floor?)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
What a GOOD album this is.... 7 Mar. 2005
By Nicman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Wow, what a nice surprise. It's the Shelby Lynne album I been waiting for. This album rocks, swoons, gets down like your'e in church, and then some....

Shelby does what she pleases n this album, and it shows. She sounds comfortable with each song, and sounds like she's having fun singing them. A nice stripped down acoustic approach suits these songs perfectly. I fell in love with the coo of her voice a long time ago, and it's all over this album. She hasn't sounded bettter, vocally as she does here. "One with the Sun" has to be the most beautiful track on here. And "Gotta get better" rocks like nothing else I've heard her do. The churning strumming takes you in right away and really rocks. Amazingly there is little percussion on this album and it seems to work just fine. The introspection of "If I were smart" here she examines a situation of the heart, shows a she can still turn a phrase to get her point across.

Now I'm sorry but I don't understand the review calling "10 Rocks" hokey. It's a great song. Why can't Shelby Lynne do a gospel shuffle? Lyle Lovett can and no one says anything. In any event she shows that she has the ability to pull it off.

This album shows the many facets of an amazing artist. An eclectic collection of songs make up a strong, cohesive work. Her talents shine here. The best part is that she produced and played the guitar parts herself. It was as if, to make a really good Shelby Lynne record, she had to do it herself. Good for her! It worked!

(Personally I'd like to hear her re-do "Love Shelby" to sound as pure as this record does. There were some really great songs on that album that could use a personal touch.)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Idenity Crisis, face down greatest of '03 8 Feb. 2004
By Greg Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you ever wondered why music was believed to be invented, then take a listen to this! I can't tell you how genius is visualized but for an artist to recognize the errors of self-regret and doubt then plaster it all over an artform is something to behold. Splates of country roots with down sense lyrics are just some of the keys to the magnitude of this record. Shelby Lynne explores brilliant expressions of relationships and loneliness that get intriguing between tracks. Lynne somehow is able to escape an identity threat and make the kind of music that should be played on everyone's stereo. Lynne appears extremely focused on the integrity of music with this record and comes to respect different styles and genres to help pave the way for her own musicianship. A track as deep as the luridly titled "Lonesome" shows more admiration towards country music's beginnings then any contemporary country song on the radio these days. Her honest tribute to Patsy Cline will have legions of admires up in arms with a virtuous sense of heavenly bliss.
Lynne's songwriting appears flawless and her vocals are an unquestionable distinction. She makes her songs frank and forthright with the backbone of clever sincerity. Songs that emerge from nowhere and shine unhindered through contemplate intellect. It's quite difficult to make comparisons with her music because its abilty to withstand is stronger then most of her adversaries. If you don't believe me then listen to the earnestness in her songs. She is able to embrace the gospel influenced "10 Rocks" and sculpt it into a rockabilly homage. Something that has rarely been done since the early years of Johnny Cash and Elvis. I found myself in a daze with the intensely rocking "Gotta Be Better" . The hook is as crisp as The Knack's "My Sharona" but its fascinating approach leaves the listener wanting more.
There is even an intelligence of diversity of pop, jazz, folk and blues showcased in this collection. Lynne's doubtful relationship situation leaves her hanging on to the telephone. Only to be let down by her own by her own enemy, herself. "Telephone" is by far pop music at its zenith. There is not a fancy chrous that gets swept away in the melody but within its three minutes you find yourself connected to this woman. Lynne strikes a chord with herself again by the time we experience "If I Were Smart". A close an intimate encounter of lost devotion and regression. Lynne seems willing to portray heartfelt human experiences with solace. She pulls it off better then anyone from her generation. . Lynne is also eminent with her exploration of guitar techniques. In a heartbeat, we sense a stroke of astuteness that comes from a devotion of musical appreciation. In today's terms, that's saying a [heck]of
Modern miracles don't necessarily take place anymore and an album as rare as this is something to treasure until the next serious effort is attained. To break down the rules on contemporary style and give it to people who will embrace it; forever marks the territory of classic albums. Shelby Lynne doesn't deny the reference to music history and is continually up for the challenge to channel her influences. If for some reason you are not immune to that idea or this record and attempt to reject the outspoken genius of it; I'd check your pulse to confirm your dead.
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