I've Got My Own Hell To Raise Bettye LaVette
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano / 11/2005

Track listing
1. I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got 2. Joy 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

Label: Anti / Release date: 9/27/2005

"I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got" is the acapella opening of this fantastic new album from Bettye LaVette. It's soulful and powerful and really sets the mood. "Joy" comes next and is a funky little number worthy of the Godmother of Funk, Betty Davis. With that one-two opening salvo, we now know what we can expect throughout the record. Every song thereafter is either a soul number, a funk song, or some combination of the two, and it all sounds great. Reminds me of The Holmes Brothers sans gospel.

The high point of the album, for me, comes four songs in with the song "The High Road," a great slow ballad where Bettye lays it all on the line. "Just Say So" is another great one. Those two songs specifically but in general the whole album really show you how soul music should be done. It calls to mind Aretha, and Tina, and singers who put real emotion in their music instead of just cranking one out, fixing it up with ProTools, and then selling the record by shaking their ass in crotch-less pants in a multi-million dollar music video on MTV. This is the real thing, and as always, it blows the fakes away.

Better than Christina: "The High Road," "Just Say So," "Only Time Will Tell Me," "Sleep To Dream."