Album Review: Never Going Back by Shemekia Copeland
Very Good, Based on 2 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Shemekia Copeland has moved her recorded product to the TelArc label, has a new producer in Oliver Wood (who doubles on guitar), and pursues a style that seems more refined and less raucous or bawdy than on her previous recordings. The rough edges are shaved, maturity is settling in, and Copeland seems intent on doing things in a more traditional fashion rather than the stomping, tear-the-house-down approach she built her reputation on. She's using members of Col.
Blues singer has potential, but needs to take control of her music There’s no denying that this 30-year-old blues belter has inherited some estimably smoky chops from her father, Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland. But there’s a sense of restraint hovering over Shemekia Copeland’s latest, which seems to hew closely—and safely—to producers Oliver Wood and John Hahn’s vision for her (instead of her own). She jumps headlong into the sinister, shuffling grooves of their co-penned “Broken World” and “Never Going Back To Memphis,” but she’s tied to a short tether for the rest of the ho-hum compositions, and only starts tearing it up on covers of Percy Mayfield’s “River’s Invitation” and her dad’s “Circumstances.