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The Wrights

The Wrights – 2008 (ACR/Mailboat)

Reviewed by Don Armstrong

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Shannon Wright's coolly detached vocals are the highlight of The Wrights' second release, but there are many other elements, including husband Adam's complementary and similarly cool singing, that could just as easily have been chosen. The question of what purpose the description "bonus tracks" has in a post-vinyl world (pure marketing? retro adornment?) arises because one of two such numbers on this disc, "You Were Made for Me" - with its steady, midtempo beat - is the second-best thing.

The entire feel is retro but fresh, starting with the metaphor in the aching-heart opener, "Rewind." The Wrights are a duo, but this isn't standard duetting, with its formatted alternation. Things are a bit freer than that. The lyrics feature standard country themes and typical word plays without venturing over into hamminess. ("You said I do, but do you still.") The effect is sweetness and affection.

The Wrights had a hand in writing five of the eight tracks, with Adam's uncle (and label boss) Alan Jackson co-writing one of the remaining three. Eight cuts and a total of 27 minutes, 11 seconds may seem skimpy, but there's not a wasted moment among them.