THE WRIGHTS > Self-titled

Label: ACR

Videos by American Songwriter

There’s something to be said for these songwritin’, sweet-talkin’ Wrights-they sure do get away with a load of cliché-ridden lyrics and still sound pretty. It’s not that the entire album is generic, in fact, most is a likable fusion of folk and pop-country. It’s just that with all the “fire and smoke” and “true love [as] as a golden ring” bit, one can’t help but hope for something a little more gritty; perhaps a rhyme that wouldn’t feel at home in a Dr. Seuss book-“thing, wing,” “tame, fame”-come on. When it works, the album is charismatic and infectiously evocative to the point of an outright grin; when it doesn’t, the melodies are flat and over-seasoned with sugary hooks. Nevertheless, it’s worth a listen for the tracks that get it right.

Husband and wife team Adam and Shannon Wright met in 1998 and have been sharing a mic ever since. The Wrights is their second release on independent label ACR and will most likely be the one to solidify their place in conversational comparison to Welch and Rawlings or Twitty and Lynn, if only for the ease with which they harmonize. “A Love Like That” is the kind they want, and the kind they got, at least in terms of reciprocal spunk. So effective are Shannon’s twangy vocals that the vagueness of the “feeling that [she] had in mind” lasting “‘till the end of time” can, and should, be completely overlooked. “You’re the Kind of Trouble” is equally effective in that head-bobbing, finger-snapping, foot-tapping kind of way. It’s all the imaginative goodness of a good-girl/bad-boy scenario (or vice versa), without having to leave your stereo. And maybe that’s the best thing about The Wrights-the easy-to-swallow accessibility. Even when the lyrics question a spouse’s sincerity after years together in “Do You Still,” it’s in such a melodically playful context you can’t taste even a hint of bitterness. Long story short, however hyper-sweetened the messenger, it successfully delivers love’s sentiment without any of the sour consequences.


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