Not every artist experiences her best years in her 60s, but 64-year-old Bettye LaVette's winning streak since 2005's I've Got My Own Hell to Raise is undeniable. From critic's top 10 lists in 2007 (for Scene of the Crime) to presidential inaugurations and Kennedy Center Honors, LaVette has proven that fine wine just ripens with time. Like a bold cabernet, LaVette is a soul to be savored on her album of British rock covers. Songs such as Zeppelin's "All My Love" are rich with nuance, spices pepper the Beatles' "The Word," and surprising flavors linger on Elton John's eternal "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Producers Rob Mathes and Michael Stevens give LaVette spare room to reinterpret and remix songs you thought you knew, stealing several wholesale, including "Love Reign O'er Me." New, yet sage; sip this soul.
CL Rating: 5 stars.