You Don't Know Me

Crystal Gayle

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You Don't Know Me Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Crystal Gayle spent the better part of the 2000s and 2010s quietly, essentially retiring from the recording studio after All My Tomorrows. You Don't Know Me is her first album since that 2003 LP, arriving a full 16 years later, but it feels very much of piece with that collection of standards from the Great American Songbook. You Don't Know Me finds Gayle working her way through 14 country and folk favorites, relying primarily on classics from the 1950s and '60s. The productions are clean, precise, and spotless, which means that all the warmth comes from Gayle herself. Fortunately, she is in strong voice. Perhaps her upper register is a little diminished, but she generally stays in her comfort zone, sounding amiable as she sings songs she and her audience know by heart. If the album tends to be a little predictable, it is nevertheless meant to be reassuring and as cozy as an old blanket. While the crisp sonics prevent You Don't Know Me from being as welcoming as a faded, familiar wrap, the intent is nevertheless appreciated and it's good to hear Gayle sound so engaged with the songs she is singing.

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