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Michelle Wright

Greatest Hits – 2000 (Arista)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Michelle Wright

This greatest hits collection documents Michelle Wright's chart successes from the '90's and reveals that while all the world may currently be smitten by Shania-fever, Wright was a crossover success story from Canada (with her lone Top Ten hit "Take It Like A Man" included here) long before Ms. Twain's belly button became the favorite export from our neighbors to the North.

"Success" is oftentimes an overused adjective, as Wright's resume of three Top 30 songs with Arista is a long way from Shania-country world domination, which probably doesn't warrant this a "hits" package. While Wright retains a slight huskiness in her voice, her song choices - such as with the gently comforting "Save In The Arms Of Love" - are a welcome contrast to the high-powered bluster of that 'other Canadian.' The best description for Wright's music is inoffensive pop, rather than country, since tell-tale country elements - fiddle and steel guitar - are in short supply. Nevertheless, "Guitar Talk" hippity-hops along nicely, and "Your Love" is a moving syrupy ballad, as syrupy ballads go.

Wright's music is pleasant, but mere pleasantness isn't a replacement for vocal character, and such uniqueness is what Wright lacks most. The best voices in country music - or in any genre for that matter - may not be those with the best natural pipes, but they are always the ones who can't help but imprint their own unique personalities into each and every song.