ⓘ I Can't Imagine (album)

                                     

ⓘ I Cant Imagine (album)

I Cant Imagine is the thirteenth studio album by American country music singer/songwriter, Shelby Lynne. The album was released on May 5, 2015 by Rounder Records. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Folk Albums chart.

                                     

1. Critical reception

The Metacritic score for this album is 77/100 and, as of 28 March 2020, says the album has "Generally favorable reviews based on 11 Critic Reviews."

Thom Jurek of AllMusic concludes his review with, I Cant Imagine is confident, assured, and fiercely independent. What ties its various threads together is the songwriters unguarded heart, expressed by her near iconic vocal prowess, and weve come to expect nothing less from Lynne."

Meredith Ochs reviews I Cant Imagine for NPR and begins, "With her voice alone, Shelby Lynne conveys a devastating spectrum of feelings - the pain of lost love and loneliness delivered in sweet, sultry tones. Add steel guitar and wide, open arrangements, as she does on her new album, and she turns emotional confusion into something so achingly beautiful that you dont want it to end."

Sam C. Mac of Slant Magazine gives the album 3 out of a possible 5 stars and concludes his review with, "Had she toned down some idiosyncrasies and worried a handful of these songs past what sounds like their draft stages, I Cant Imagine could’ve been a real coup for Lynne, proving that the record labels need her as decisively as she’s proven she doesn’t need them."

Hal Horowitz of American Songwriter gives the album 3½ out of a possible 5 stars and writes, "its the pure Dusty Springfield soul of "Sold the Devil Sunshine" and the slinky swamp of "Be in the Now" that finds Lynne at her loosest and most natural. A few more tunes in this vein would be welcome, but everything here captures the classy, sometimes sassy and always heartfelt essence that makes Shelby Lynne one of her generation’s most passionate and determined voices."

Stephen L. Betts reviews the album for Rolling Stone and writes, "For her 13th full-length album, I Cant Imagine, the Grammy winner once again draws on her roots and her myriad influences, delivering 10 new tunes she has written or co-written."

                                     

2. Musicians

"Paper Van Gogh"

  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmony Vocals
  • Christopher Joyner – Piano
  • Ed Maxwell – Upright Acoustic Bass
  • Michael Jerome – Drums, Percussion
  • Ben Peeler – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar

"Back Door Front Porch"

  • Pete Donnelly – Hammond Organ
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Ed Maxwell – Upright Acoustic Bass, Moog Synthesizer
  • Ben Peeler – Weissenborn Slide Guitar, Electric Guitar
  • Michael Jerome – Drums
  • Clarence Greenwood – Backing Vocals

"Sold The Devil Sunshine"

  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Backing Vocals
  • Michael Jerome – Drums, Backing Vocals
  • Ed Maxwell – Electric Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion
  • Pete Donnelly – WurlitzerOrgan
  • Ben Peeler – Electric Guitar

"Son Of A Gun"

  • Ed Maxwell – Upright Acoustic Bass, Upright Bass Percussion
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Michael Jerome – Drums
  • Pete Donnelly – Piano
  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion
  • Ben Peeler – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Twelve-String Acoustic Guitar

"Down Here"

  • Clarence Greenwood – Backing Vocals
  • Christopher Joyner – Wurlitzer Organ, B3 Organ
  • Pete Donnelly – Electric Guitar
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Ben Peeler – Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
  • Ed Maxwell – Electric Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion
  • Michael Jerome – Drums, Backing Vocals

"Love Is Strong"

  • Michael Jerome – Drums
  • Christopher Joyner – Piano
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Brendan Buckley – Drums
  • Ed Maxwell – Upright Acoustic Bass, Moog Synthesizer
  • Ben Peeler – Electric Guitar

"Better"

  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Pete Donnelly – Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
  • Clarence Greenwood – Backing Vocals
  • Ed Maxwell – Bass, Organ
  • Ben Peeler – Acoustic Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Rickenbacker Twelve-String Guitar
  • Michael Jerome – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion

"Be In The Now"

  • Ben Peeler – Acoustic Guitar, Weissenborn Slide Guitar
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Ed Maxwell – Upright Acoustic Bass
  • Brendan Buckley – Percussion
  • Michael Jerome – Drums, Percussion
  • Christopher Joyner – Wurlitzer Organ

"Following You"

  • Ben Peeler – Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
  • Leni Stern – Lute Ngoni Intro

"I Cant Imagine"

  • Christopher Joyner – Piano
  • Ed Maxwell – Electric Bass
  • Shelby Lynne – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Pete Donnelly – Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Ben Peeler – Pedal Steel Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Twelve-String Acoustic Guitar
  • Michael Jerome – Drums
                                     

3. Production

  • Recorded by Steve Reynolds
  • Management – Elizabeth Jordan
  • Executive Producer – John Burk
  • Booking – Bruce Solar, Ronnie Lapone
  • Mixed by Shelby Lynne
  • Package Design – Andrew Pham
  • Producer – Shelby Lynne
  • Associate Producer – Ben Peeler
  • Recorded by Chris Rondinella
  • Mixed and recorded by Seth Presant
  • A&R – Scott Billington
  • Photography by Alexandra Hedison
  • Mastered By – Clint Holley, Paul Blakemore

Track information and credits adapted the albums liner notes.