Thankful N' Thoughtful - Bettye LaVette
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Sep 25, 2012
    80
    Thankful N' Thoughtful is a solid outing from an outstanding singer who knows how to growl, croon, grumble, praise, and jump for joy with her vocal phrasing--whatever makes the song live and breathe.
  2. Oct 25, 2012
    50
    There is no denying that LaVette has a hell of a voice. On Thankful N' Thoughtful – as on her other work – it's a massive, destructive, ragged thing... [Yet] she has the voice, but not the songs. She has tried to overcome this by working with songs from other artists; the results are mixed.
  3. Oct 22, 2012
    80
    Powerful soul medicine best taken a track at a time. [Nov 2012, p.101]
  4. Sep 28, 2012
    90
    Producer Craig Street's customary forte is smoothness but the grittier Muscle Shoals influence he's channeled here is perfectly tailored. [Nov 2012, p.77]
  5. Oct 22, 2012
    80
    Other artists covered include Gnarls Barkley, Tom Waits and Neil Young, but this is Bettye's record, these are her songs now. [Nov 2012, p.86]
  6. Sep 25, 2012
    90
    LaVette deepens their meaning with a slow-burn commitment to the lyrical nuance and the emotional resonance in the melodies.
  7. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    There's a rich sense of open space and movement that feels close to dub reggae at times, which leaves plenty of room for LaVette in the foreground.
  8. Oct 29, 2012
    60
    Since there's never any faulting LaVette's performances, the quality of her albums depends on both the material and the producers she chooses, and it's in those ways that Thankful N' Thoughtful is a slight letdown from LaVette.
  9. Sep 26, 2012
    90
    It's a marvellous, spine-tingling journey around some not-so-obvious American songs, and also a stunning tutorial in different American music styles, strung together by LaVette's sensuous singing... Possibly the best set of songs she's ever recorded.
  10. Oct 22, 2012
    75
    Bettye LaVette is able to tap into the deep, sanctified stream of black-church music to come up with performances that shine with hope, even as she deals with life's more difficult situations. [No.92, p.55]
  11. Sep 25, 2012
    80
    With a few exceptions the music grounds itself in 1960s soul, staunchly chugging along as Ms. LaVette's bruised, caustic, adamant voice plunges into every line, coming through the songs as an unflinching survivor.
  12. Sep 26, 2012
    80
    LaVette is in incredibly fine form, squeezing every amount of emotional resonance out of every track, her voice a well burnished, emotionally charged instrument that she plays like a master.
  13. The sound is gothically cavernous and frames her seized phrasing with tasteful restraint.
  14. 80
    This is another compelling example of Lavette's finely tuned interpretative talents taking songs to places you might not have imagined.

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