Deborah Silver, Shake It Off Review
by Constance Tucker
Deborah Silver’s artistic journey has been as versatile as her music, from battling health issues to taking a hiatus for her family. Having previously conquered the Billboard charts with her album Glitter & Grits, a blend of jazz and Texas swing, Silver now ventures into reimagining pop anthems with her latest single, “Shake It Off.”
Silver’s chart successes as a jazz singer have long been peppered with nods to her roots; her latest is a prime example. Legendary arranger Charles Calello crafted an outstanding arrangement for “Shake It Off” and conducts a hard-swinging big band of stellar musicians.
The evolution in Silver’s expression is palpable. Where Glitter & Grits provided a lively romp through Texas swing and jazz classics, “Shake It Off” sees Silver channeling her jazz roots into a contemporary pop landscape, transforming Swift’s melody and lyrics with confidence and taste. The resilience we’ve come to expect from Silver—the spirit behind her #NeverTooLate mantra—is in full bloom here. However, there’s a nuance to it now, a richness that only comes from an artist comfortable in her evolving skin.
Gone are the days of the “I’ve Got Rhythm” with a barrelhouse feel or the seductive loping pace of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” While she has shifted gears in genre inspiration, Silver’s soulful timbre remains as powerful as ever. Her vocals weave through the jazzy arrangement like a thread of golden resilience, holding together the song’s message of strength and congealing with the energy of the rhythmic sophistication of the big band.
Comparing this single to her work in Glitter & Grits, it’s evident that Silver’s music reflects her own journey. Her life’s challenges, victories, and struggles are embedded in her versatile musical choices. Her vocal skills allow her to have a multi-genre span from swing to jazz to pop, showing she is a musician unafraid to venture, to explore, and most importantly, to evolve.
The silver lining? Deborah Silver doesn’t just adapt; she thrives. As Quincy Jones aptly put it, she’s ‘the real deal,’ and with “Shake It Off,” she has once again proven her ability to reinvent not just songs but herself. From her unique health battles to a Billboard Chart-topper, Silver’s best is still unfolding before a growing legion of new and eager followers. Indeed, with her, it’s #NeverTooLate.