MGF Reviews – Patti Scialfa – Play It As It Lays

Patti Scialfa – Play It As It Lays
Columbia (9/4/07)
Rock / Blues / Soul / Country

Official site

Patti Scialfa’s Play It As It Lays is country, blues and soul thrown together with popcorn-on-a-string melodies. Scialfa is Bruce Springsteen’s wife and a member of the E Street Band, which was a total surprise to me, as well as learning that this is her third solo album. Scialfa would be a beautiful antique coffee table if a table’s voice could be personified; it’s that one voice that has a certain grit and smokey sound. Blues and Bruce Springsteen fans should be especially pleased with this record. “Like Any Woman Would” and “Play Around” are strong tracks, and what Scialfa has in her favor is this is the kind of blues record that the Grammy Awards would love. Most contemporary music played seems to lack any heartfelt inspiration, but if “Looking For Elvis” is any account, Scialfa is interested in making music that comes from somewhere inspired.

“Rainy Day Man” is sexy with the funk arrangement of “sugar sugar sugar baby, bang bang” in the background and could make a cute single. “The Word” is very real, about realization between truth and lies that you tell yourself, and really gives this record extra character. I would be remiss not to say again, though, that Scialfa is the real deal.

Play It As It Lays should provide her with plenty of good material to support a tour, especially if she hits the House of Blues circuit. However, as much as I like the vibe of the album, this isn’t something I would listen to all the time. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad record; it’s mostly a record for the most dedicated of Scialfa loyalists and those who can listen to blues music constantly. If you are looking to update your blues collection, add this record. Scialfa is a pleasant surprise and I hope she continues to record, because there is plenty of talent on this record to make audiences want more.


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