- Released: September 27, 2005
- Label: Anti
Entertainment Weekly - No. 842, p.93
"...HELL is heaven." - Grade: A-
Uncut - p.1044 stars out of 5
- "LaVette's fierce and knowing transformations of material from female writers like Sin?ad O'Connor, Dolly Parton and Aimee Mann consistently push the levels into the red..."
- 1.I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
- 3.Down to Zero
- 4.The High Road
- 5.On the Surface
- 6.Just Say So
- 7.Little Sparrow
- 8.How Am I Different
- 9.Only Time Will Tell Me
- 10.Sleep to Dream
Personnel: Bettye LaVette (vocals); Lisa Coleman (piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); David Piltch (double bass, upright bass); Paul Bryan (electric bass, bass guitar); Valerie Watson, Niki Haris, Niki Harris, Valerie Watson (background vocals); Chris Bruce (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Doyle Bramhall II (electric guitar); Earl Harvin (drums).
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
Recording information: The Sound Factory (05/10/2005-05/13/2005).
Authors: Elvis Costello; Bonnie Raitt.
Photographer: Kevin Estrada.
Bettye Lavette's superlative a cappella rendition of Sinead O'Connor's "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" is a fitting opener to this raw collection of covers by women songwriters like Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading, and Dolly Parton. The job done by Lavette and her exemplary backing band on this superb deep soul set is so thoroughly transformational as to make these pop, rock, and country songs entirely their own. Her voice is rough and heartfelt, palpably carrying a weight of heartbreak, the musicians' performances are intimate and spontaneous, and the songs, from Parton's "Little Sparrow" to Bobbie Cryner's undiscovered masterpiece, "Just Say So," are impeccably well-chosen.