Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Bettye LaVette - Things Have Changed, album review

Guts and Groove Change

The spunk and funk of these Dylan covers are body-moving in their guts and groove, LaVette’s singing at age 72 [yes, it matters] serving up a ‘sing-to-the-hand’ put-down to those contemporary gibbering, baby-talk, slurring female vocal pretenders. Of course, it is the colossal innate talent in the gruff soul and blues of her oak-aged voice, but it’s also the lived-life of feeling.

Dylan? I guess he’s in there somewhere, but there really is no need to forage or apply your Bob’s-your-uncle forensic expertise to finding echoes. I don’t know most of these songs anyway, but take The Times They Are A-Changing and the change in structure and melody is so fundamentally and immediately obvious as deconstruction no Derrida analysis could ever better it. It Ain’t Me Babe has perhaps the most familiar and comforting residue where we hear the alterations knowingly.

Elsewhere and everywhere this is simply stonking. Third track Political World is wrapped up in the funkiest belt constantly burst open, Keith Richards busting it wide too with guitar blues-blasts and runs.

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