Chely Wright - Let Me In
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Let Me In (MCA, 1997)

Chely Wright

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

During her two-album stint on Polydor, Chely Wright always seemed poised to break into country stardom. She never had a big hit, though, and when Polydor shut its doors, Wright was left without a record deal.

Now she's on MCA, and for the first five masterfully crafted songs, this appears to be a country-pop gem. The first single, "Shut Up and Drive," simmers with a combination of sympathy and quiet urgency until Wright wails demandingly on the chorus, "I'm the voice you never listen to/And I had to break your heart to make you see." Even better is the Matraca Berg-Gary Harrison-Jeff Hanna composition, "Norma Jean's Guitar," in which the singer imagines the history of a 1950 Gibson that she bought in a pawn shop.

But then the music starts to go downhill with "Just Another Heartache," sounding like filler for a Lorrie Morgan album. Wright's vocals are always warm and sweet with a slight twang. Here's hoping she comes up with better songs next time out.

CDs by Chely Wright

Santa Will Find You!, 2018 Lifted Off the Ground, 2010 The Metropolitan Hotel, 2005

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