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Sticking with the soul stylings of her stellar Dusty in Memphis recording, Springfield takes her sensual huskiness north to the City of Brotherly Love for this 1970 slice of Philly soul. Doing incredible justice to a batch of top-quality Gamble & Huff songs, Springfield trades in the Stax-inspired swamp grit of her Memphis album for the urban soul kaleidoscope of A Brand New Me. Surrounded by angelically funky string and horn charts from guitarist Roland Chambers and Thom Bell (along with Gamble & Huff, Bell can be counted as an architect of Philly International sound), Springfield sounds positively liberated ranging through the gospel pop closer "Let's Talk It Over," an Aretha-inspired "Silly, Silly Fool," and the Bacharach-styled ballad "Joe." These get topped off by the upbeat Jackson 5 knockoff "Bad Case of the Blues" and covers of two of Jerry Butler's best Mercury hits, "Lost" and "A Brand New Me." Along with Dusty in Memphis and her early You Don't Have to Say You Love Me record, Brand New Me figures into Springfield's handful of really top-notch albums.

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