It's always sad to see a barrage of scandalous headlines overshadowing a talented singer or producer's musical accomplishments. But let's face it: tabloid scandal "journalism" sells, which is why, regrettably, some people associate Michael Jackson with the Elephant Man's bones more than Thriller or Off the Wall, and why there are those who associate the name Rick James with crack pipes and prison rather than the 1981 funk/soul masterpiece Street Songs. And similarly, there are some younger listeners who may not know much about the Wall of Sound but do know legendary producer Phil Spector for going to prison in 2009 after being convicted of second-degree murder. According to his wife, Rachelle Spector, he produced and arranged her debut album, Out of My Chelle, before the conviction (although the album didn't actually come out until the summer of 2010). Some people have alleged that he didn't really produce this CD; at any rate, Out of My Chelle certainly doesn't sound at all like anything he produced in the '60s or '70s. Rachelle Spector's specialty is sugary, synth-driven dance-pop along the lines of Britney Spears or Hilary Duff, although there are a few adult contemporary ballads as well, and production-wise, there isn't even a hint of the elaborate Wall of Sound technique that Phil Spector became famous for; he had a distinctive production style whether he was working with the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner, or the Ramones; that style is nowhere to be found on Out of My Chelle. So, let's say that one heard this material on Radio Disney and had no idea that Phil Spector was involved; one would conclude that while the thin-voiced Rachelle Spector isn't very convincing on ballads, although some of the dance-pop tunes are catchy enough (most notably, "Got Me Where You Want Me" and "Risk"). This is an uneven, inconsistent effort, but on occasion, she does come up with a groove that works. Of course, some of Phil Spector's die-hard admirers will want to hear Out of My Chelle out of curiosity simply because his name is attached to it. Fair enough. Just be advised that the Wall of Sound isn't part of the package.
Out of My Chelle Review
by Alex Henderson