Friday, March 14, 2008

The Orchard

There are always adjectives ready to try to capture the essence of anything…and there are adjectives aplenty to describe his sumptuous (see?) CD from the utterly remarkable Lizz Wright: luminous, sultry, soulful, beguiling, enchanting, utterly engaging. The Orchard is all of these things and yet the words don’t do Ms. Wright and the new addition to her splendid body of work proper justice.

But words are all I have here and thus they will have to suffice.

This wonderful collection is compromised of eight fine original tunes (all co-written by Wright) and four deftly chosen, surprising covers.

The originals include the cool, sprightly and irresistibly percussive “My Heart” and “This Is”, the quiet but stately “Speak Your Heart”, and the wistful, bittersweet “When I Fall”.

The covers include a bluesy stroll through Ike Turner’s “I Idolize You”, the righteous R&B of Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Hey Mann”, a dreamy waltz with Patsy Cline’s “Strange”, and a compelling version of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”.

Wright is an incredibly expressive singer who brings honest passion to her music without ever feeling the need to give in to excessive vocal gymnastics (she got the chops to wail with the best of them but if it doesn’t stand in service to the song she has no space for it…and that’s so thrillingly refreshing that you wish this was a better world where she was a bigger star than she currently is.)

The music…given wing by acoustic guitars, bass, and keyboards…is able and powerful support to the wondrous vocals under the sure-handed direction of producer Craig Street.

The Orchard is a bountiful harvest of jazz, blues, pop, and R&B that gets more tasty…more delightful and fulfilling…with each listening.

1 comment:

2sweetnsaxy said...

I've never heard of Liz Wright so thanks for the intro. I'm looking forward to checking out more of her music.