The slight Susan Tedeschi can belt out blues with the fervour of Janis Joplin, and with husband/guitarist Derek Trucks (who also plays in Clapton's band and the Allman Brothers) she's had interesting musical settings.
This time - on co-writes with Trucks and name players like Doyle Bramhall II, also from Clapton's band, John Leventhal, Jayhawk Gary Louris and others - she's aiming more for Bonnie Raitt's territory. On Misunderstood and All That I Need you'd be pushed to pick them apart on a blindfold test. This is good news/bad news, but the often workmanlike songs constrain her in ways her solo album Back to the River and earlier TTB albums haven't.
Last year's live Everybody's Talkin' captured them at their incendiary best, and makes this seem like flames but rather less heat. Too few songs stick ... except when Trucks peels off exceptional solos (you'll hear Cream on Whiskey Legs, which regrettably fades as the temperature rises).
There are gorgeous soulful ballads here (the Raitt-like It's So Heavy is a standout) and some powerhouse energy, but the songs - not the artistry - are the issue.
Not a bad album, but they had set a high threshold.
Verdict: Husband and wife settle down. Pity
Click here to buy Made Up Mind by Tedeschi Trucks Band.
- TimeOut / elsewhere.co.nz