455. Bettye Lavette – “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise”

As a doting partner, I purchased this CD as a birthday present for my eventual wife back in 2005.

Bettye Lavette I've Got My Own Hell to Raise The album had been getting gushing reviews, as almost the estrogened equivalent of Solomon Burke‘s revitalisation.

Here long-time soul stalwart Lavette covers a wide collection of female songwriters (e.g. Aimee Mann, Sinéad O’Connor, Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading, Fiona Apple, and Dolly Parton).

The claim that a singer has ‘made the songs her own’ is made far too frequently, but here it is completely appropriate.  Lavette brings heart and (dare I say it) soul to each tune, and presents a seamless set of ten tracks.

This is sassy, sultry stuff.  The song choices are fantastic, with loads of heartbreak and vows to self-improvement and invidual strength.

This is the album every divorce celebrant should hand out. Any of the tunes would work as a the soundtrack to a montage when Susan Sarandon/Sandra Bullock/Halle Berry resolves to put that bastard and his cheating ways behind her, puts on some lippy, shakes out the hair, and strides out the door chin high to turn heads and wow all.

This is a fantastic collection.  Any woman who can transform a track I already loved (from Lucinda Williams) and make it even better is worth praising:

File under: Get on this highway

One response to “455. Bettye Lavette – “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise”

  1. Spot-on review. This is a great album. I heard her cover of Fiona Apple’s “Sleep To Dream” first, and as I listened to LaVette’s version I could not place the original. I had to google it.

    While I’m here, thanks for doing these reviews. It’s really interesting, and I love coming back to the site every couple days.

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