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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Bettye Swann
Bettye Swann
Astralwerks/Honest Jons

Rating: 7/10 ?


February 16, 2005
One of the more obscure voices of Southern soul, Bettye Swann, is finally getting the recognition she deserves, thanks to this collection of her work, recorded between 1968 and 1970, released through Astralwerks and Honest Jons.

Tracks like "Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)?" and "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" showcase her velvety voice, over classical soul arrangements of softly thudding bass, vibrant backup vocals and complimentary horn arrangements.

To even the most casual listener of R&B and soul, it becomes quickly apparent that Swann is a sorely underappreciated talent. According to her bio, her story was something of a racial reversal in the music business at the time. The age-old story in rock and pop music consists of numerous instances of white artists appropriating black musicians' music, from Elvis to the Rolling Stones to Limp Bizkit.

Swann, however, came to California seeking her fortune, and under the tutelage of producer Muscle Shoals, recorded a series of "white pop hits and late night country ballads," reinterpreting them, of course, with a Southern soul flair and arrangement. She even appeared on a duet with the legendary Buck Owens - "Today I Started Loving You Again" - a song that had been lost in the mighty Capitol vaults.

Swann hasn't recorded a new song in over 20 years, but her mark on soul music certainly gains some importance from the release of this, her back catalogue. Her name will probably never be muttered in the same breath with the likes of Al Green or Otis Redding, but her mark has been made and she's ready to be heard by the world all over again.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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