Bettye LaVette – I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise (2005)
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I've Got My Own Hell to Raise

You know, I could have sworn my man Carl over at Cahl’s Jukebox had written a review of this record already, which would have enabled me to simply link to his superior wordsmithing, but either I was imagining things or his search box is broken.

Well, if I must write something of my own, I must — I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise is a white-hot, ferocious slice of delicious soul music, and I love it. The big buzz about this record mostly centers around the artists Lavette has chosen to cover — Joan Armtrading, Aimee Mann, Dolly Parton, and Fiona Apple, among others — but shit, who wrote the songs doesn’t really matter much when you can walk in, kick the door down, and make each of them your own the way she does.

Great songs, great performances, wonderful production. This is one I’ll be listening to for a long time to come. I’d say more, but why bother when I can just let you hear “Just Say So” (download) and “Sleep to Dream” (download)?

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Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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