Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
It's an obvious choice these days: Pair an underappreciated soul singer with the rock canon and see what happens. But when you get into Interpretations, you realize Bettye LaVette is not covering these songs. She's schooling us, and she's schooling the songs -- making them what they could have been, evoking their substance more purely than, in most cases, even the original acts could. This is no affectation: LaVette is literally singing songs like "Wish You Were Here" or "Nights in White Satin" the only way she can -- with a truth and pain in her voice that makes them entirely new.