Bonnie Bramlett – Beautiful

January 01, 1970

(Rockin’ Camel)

www.rockincamel.com

 

 

With Southern rock pioneer/producer Johnny Sandlin behind
the boards, Bonnie Bramlett gets just the right amount of punch to balance out
the shimmer in her latest album. Soulful as ever, Bramlett’s sass and brass
voice continues to age gracefully with just a touch of rasp on the edge of her
delivery. The crack-team of studio musicians (Muscle Shoals members included)
power through number after number, adding bottleneck grit and mournful steel
when appropriate.

 

Top-rate musicianship and Bramlett’s genuine demeanor carry
through some of the weaker moments – “For What It’s Worth” rings true enough,
but the following Gary Cotton tune, “Some of My Best Friends” comes off terribly
heavy-handed. Nonetheless, Bramlett is a woman of conviction and never looks
back once she has put her foot down. She tears apart “Strongest Weakness”,
co-written by her daughter Bekka, and gets equally low and dirty on “Shake Something
Loose”. At the slower moments (“Beautiful”, “I Do Believe”), she sounds no less
spirited.

 

The days of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends have long
passed, but the energy remains very much alive in Bramlett’s solo output. She
may not be breaking new ground, and “return to form” seems all too slighting a
tag. But there certainly is something classic in Beautiful. 

 

Standout Tracks: “Strongest Weakness”, “Bless ‘Em All” ZACHARY HERRMANN

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