Chely Wright Single White Female

Chely Wright is yet another strong-voiced Nashville super vixen with all the right moves and three albums to her credit, but she possesses something that the others just can't fake. She's got an element of vulnerability, a bit of a lisp and enough heart on her sleeve to project her far beyond the faceless crowd of Nashville's other single white females. Good looks and finger-snappin' videos aside, there's about four strong singles on Single White Female. There's a minimum of hurtin' and a maximum of feelin’ good. The usual quotient of generic Nashville session players buffet the sound and Tony Brown's star maker machinery is in full gear. Yet this perky little heartbreaker seems to have something fresh to offer. The title track, boasting some tasteful mandolin, is what you might expect to hear, but it ignites under Wright's vocal power. And "She Went Out For Cigarettes" sounds about as country as one could stand, but it's a riveting ballad that sounds like a movie waiting to happen. "The Fire" jumps off the disc and stands out for all the reasons Garth Brooks shouldn't. In a nutshell, there's something about Chely Wright that is to-the-bone exciting. She can sing softly about nothing much and can kick up a fuss with the power of a firestorm, and it all sounds believable. Her heart drives her work and it surpasses the best efforts of Nashville to make her a hot property. She'll get there on her own, thank you very much. The fact that Single White Female is burning up the charts is just a taste of what she’s capable of. Or maybe I'm just in love. (MCA Nashville)