Bird on a Wire

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Deftly dodging the dreaded sophomore slump, this singer-songwriter goes a long way to establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with on this finely textured, agreeably diverse disc. Lightman flexes a bit more muscle here than she did on her debut, Little Things, waxing dusky and flirtatious on the dare-you-to-ignore-me guitar rocker "Don't Let Go" and dipping into a surprisingly deep soul groove on "Slipping," which drips with vintage Rufus-meets-EWF sultriness. Bird on a Wire's best moments come, however, when the New Yorker puts her fluid, intriguing voice at the forefront, unfettered by pushy arrangements. That's the M.O. of low-key tracks like "My Sweet Song,"...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Deftly dodging the dreaded sophomore slump, this singer-songwriter goes a long way to establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with on this finely textured, agreeably diverse disc. Lightman flexes a bit more muscle here than she did on her debut, Little Things, waxing dusky and flirtatious on the dare-you-to-ignore-me guitar rocker "Don't Let Go" and dipping into a surprisingly deep soul groove on "Slipping," which drips with vintage Rufus-meets-EWF sultriness. Bird on a Wire's best moments come, however, when the New Yorker puts her fluid, intriguing voice at the forefront, unfettered by pushy arrangements. That's the M.O. of low-key tracks like "My Sweet Song," on which Lightman purrs with unreconstructed torch-song intensity as subtle shadings of keyboard and strings caress her voice in a manner reminiscent of Ray Charles' classic Atlantic sides. The similarly understated "Weight of the World" takes those elements in an altogether different direction, wringing a few tears from a tale that's more in tune with Lightman's confessional-penning peers -- albeit without the overweening drama that can creep into the genre. Emotions run high on Bird on a Wire, but not so high that one need worry about Lightman going off the deep end -- a balance that makes the disc easy to relate to and even easier to go back to for repeat listens.
All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Toby Lightman has definitely done some maturing since her debut came out in 2004. While her voice still has the same rich qualities that gave Little Things so much promise, with Bird on a Wire she's moved away from poppier, drum-machine-friendly songs to country- and R&B-laced music that not only continues to show off her voice -- a mix between Shelby Lynne, Pink, and Norah Jones -- but her skills as a songwriter as well. It's a fun album that explores different genres without losing its overall focus, much in part thanks to production work from Bill Bottrell who did Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club, as well as Lynne's I Am Shelby Lynne and Patrick Leonard who's worked with Madonna, Rod Stewart, and Natasha Bedingfield, both of whose influences can be distinguished on practically a track-by-track basis. The Bottrell-produced lovely "My Sweet Song" is pure Patsy Cline, while Leonard's "Round & Round" is full of attitude and radio-friendly rock hooks à la M!ssundaztood. No matter the position Lightman is taking, from brokenhearted to independent, it's her voice, strong and versatile, that carries the album along. Her excellent, emotional harmonies work well with the lush string arrangements that are found on much of the album, and the keyboards and bluesy guitar rhythms add a nice soulful element to the modern adult rock, as if she would be as comfortable in Ryman Auditorium as she would at Madison Square Garden. She moves from slower, introspective ballads "One Sure Thing," "I'd Be Lost" to confident and assertive anthems "Overflowing," "Don't Wake Me" without losing stride. Bird on a Wire's an impressive piece of work from a talented artist who's grown completely into her voice and herself, subtly complex while still retaining the passion and immediacy that makes it such a good listen, touching listeners emotionally as well as intellectually, a feat that's truly hard to attain and absolutely deserves to be praised.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/25/2006
  • Label: Lava
  • UPC: 075678396922
  • Catalog Number: 83969

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Don't Wake Me (3:38)
  2. 2 Don't Let Go (3:56)
  3. 3 Better (3:55)
  4. 4 Slippin' (4:25)
  5. 5 Round & Round (3:30)
  6. 6 My Sweet Song (4:01)
  7. 7 Alone (3:40)
  8. 8 One Sure Thing (4:04)
  9. 9 Overflowing (3:33)
  10. 10 Weight of the World (4:02)
  11. 11 Holding Me Down (3:18)
  12. 12 I'd Be Lost (3:49)
  13. 13 Good Find (5:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Toby Lightman Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Violin, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
Bill Bottrell Organ, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Pedal Steel Guitar, Chimes, Electric Guitar, Moog Synthesizer, Bells, Mellotron, E-bow, Wurlitzer
Paul Bushnell Bass
Patrick Leonard Piano, Keyboards, Lap Steel Guitar
Wendy Melvoin Bass, Electric Guitar
Tim Pierce Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, E-bow
Lyle Workman Guitar
Justin Meldal-Johnsen Bass
Dan Schwartz Bass
Caroline Campbell Violin
James Freebarin-Smith Cello
Neel Hammond Violin
Han Oh Viola
Shari Freebairn Smith Violin
Joseph Hanna Percussion, Drums
Brian Macleod Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Bill Bottrell Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements, Loop
Patrick Leonard Programming, Producer
Scott Hull Mastering
Michael Perfitt Engineer
Nick Romei Packaging Manager
Toby Lightman Composer, String Arrangements
Mark Obriski Art Direction, Illustrations
Tom Syrowski Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ladies and Gentlemen... Toby Lightman!

    Toby Lightman has to be the most unrecognized singer-songwriter in the music industry today. I mean, seriously, where is the press? This chick has got a voice on her that would blow away many of the mainstream singer-songwriters headlining today. The arrangements on "Bird on a Wire" are wonderful, and she sings the melody creating an album that flows beautifully. The style is an interesting form of blue-eyed soul. From the opening gospel sounds of "Don't Wake Me" to the finish of "Good Find," which by the way only makes me realize that the finale's title is exactly what I was thinking when the album finished one complete rotation, the record is really a solid effort. Having recently finished a tour with Jewel and Rob Thomas, I can only imagine how awesome that show must have been. Oh, and by the way, she can really rock, too - check out "Alone." I have listened to the album several times since purchasing it earlier this morning, but with each repeated listen I am only more impressed with Toby's voice, words, and style. Hopefully this artist eventually gets the respect and attention she deserves.

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