Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty (1964), 3/10

Dusty Springfield’s debut album is roughly what you could expect from a budding pop artist not yet in her prime: lots of covers with a little extra flair, backed by raw vocal talent where instrumentation takes a back seat to individual charisma. Dusty has enough of this and enough technical ability to make some songs fairly enjoyable, but largely the record fails to provide anything unique, even in delivery. The resulting album drones by quickly enough for its short length yet fails to impress in any significant way. Dusty’s talent can only do so much and despite her emotional delivery some songs are wholly poor. Most of the second half, for instance, falls completely flat on every level. Only “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and the closer “Don’t You Know” come across as worth listening to, even for just one play. The record strategically opens with its strongest two tracks with “Mama Said” and “You Don’t Own Me” before becoming standard and eventually drearily boring, increasingly so as the track list ventures on. There is nothing to note outside of the vocals, making the majority of these songs uninspired covers or completely generic in their entirety. There were more adventurous and interesting things being accomplished by her peers, especially in surrounding countries, so A Girl Called Dusty only foreshadows her later success rather than providing anything worth listening to.