Things Have Changed

Things Have Changed

by Bettye LaVette

CD

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Overview

Plenty of singers love singing the songs of Bob Dylan for the same reason many actors relish the opportunity to play Shakespeare -- the material may be a big challenge, but it can also bring out the best in an artist. Bettye LaVette is as confident and fearless as any vocalist working today, and if she felt the least bit intimidated by the prospect of making an album devoted to Bob Dylan's songs, she clearly kept that buried deep. Released in 2018, Things Have Changed features LaVette interpreting 12 songs by the Bard of Hibbing, and she sounds sly, ferocious, and insightful at every turn on these sessions, reminding us why she's one of the best and most distinctive soul divas standing. Steve Jordan produced Things Have Changed, and he put together a crack band for LaVette, featuring former Dylan sideman Larry Campbell on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass, Leon Pendarvis on keyboards, and Jordan behind the drums. These musicians give these songs a lean, muscular sound that's taut and soulful while never taking the spotlight away from LaVette. And LaVette is nothing less than commanding on Things Have Changed; she recognizes the emotional tenor of these songs and gives Dylan's wordplay the intelligent reading it deserves, understanding the importance of each word while giving them all a fire and power that brings them life and depth. In LaVette's hands, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is transformed from a '60s warhorse into a vivid public service announcement as timely as this hour's news cycle, and "It Ain't Me Babe" cuts deep but with a understated compassion missing from most interpretations. Most of the album is devoted to lesser-known Dylan compositions, and LaVette makes "Going, Going, Gone," "Seeing the Real You at Last," "Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight," and "Emotionally Yours" her own. And her take on "Political World" is strong enough that even a cameo appearance by Keith Richards doesn't upstage her. Bettye LaVette has been enjoying a remarkable career resurgence in the 21st century, and Things Have Changed demonstrates why -- she's as strong and compelling an interpretive vocalist as you're likely to hear in this day and age, and given a set of great songs, she can work magic with ease.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/30/2018
Label: Verve
UPC: 0602567267850
catalogNumber: 002801602
Rank: 27275

Tracks

  1. Things Have Changed
  2. It Ain't Me Babe
  3. Political World
  4. Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight
  5. Seeing the Real You at Last
  6. Mama, You Been on My Mind
  7. Ain't Talkin'
  8. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  9. What Was It You Wanted
  10. Emotionally Yours
  11. Do Right to Me Baby (Do unto Others)
  12. Going, Going, Gone

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