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The Metropolitan Hotel

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Before anyone gets too exercised about Chely Wright's tender, thoughtful tribute to the American troops abroad, "The Bumper of My S.U.V.," be advised that she's been performing for the U.S. Armed Forces since she was in short pants. And though she became something of a talking head for the Republican ticket in the 2004 elections, the "S.U.V." song is political only in that it celebrates freedom of speech, a right some say is under assault by the Bush administration. She's a long way from Toby Keith bluster here, and attention must be paid before the doves write her off -- she admits to "asking questions" about what's going on in the world, even as she earnestly croons ...
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February 22, 2005 CD New in new packaging. Originally released: 2005. Brand New CD Still in Factory Seal. FREE UPGRADE TO FIRST CLASS! !

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Before anyone gets too exercised about Chely Wright's tender, thoughtful tribute to the American troops abroad, "The Bumper of My S.U.V.," be advised that she's been performing for the U.S. Armed Forces since she was in short pants. And though she became something of a talking head for the Republican ticket in the 2004 elections, the "S.U.V." song is political only in that it celebrates freedom of speech, a right some say is under assault by the Bush administration. She's a long way from Toby Keith bluster here, and attention must be paid before the doves write her off -- she admits to "asking questions" about what's going on in the world, even as she earnestly croons her affection and respect for the GIs doing the dirty work. That one song should not close anyone off to a fine collection of songs that Wright co-produced and, in the case of eight of the dozen tunes, either wrote or co-wrote. The timeless conflict between children and their elders is lovingly dissected, with some anger and more than a dollop of common sense, in a piano-based, hymn-like ballad, "Between a Mother and a Child." A woman who made a better man of her ex tells a home wrecker the "tragic but true" reality on the slow-boiling heartbreaker "I Got Him Ready for You." Soaring strings, pulsing percussion, Aubrey Haynie's keening fiddle, and Vince Gill's haunting harmonizing bring vivid life to the sweeping, autobiographical reminiscence "The River." For good measure, Wright breaks into full-bore honky-tonk mode in reconfiguring Chuck Berry's "C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)" as a country barnburner, complete with stinging guitar solos and some rollicking piano courtesy Gordon Mote. Some perceptive looks at human nature, a mission statement, and some good, clean fun make this hotel worthy of an extended stay.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Chely Wright wasn't the only female country vocalist to straddle the line between neo-traditional country and slick modern country-pop, but she was one of the best of her kind, thanks in large part to her earthy tenor, which gave even the poppiest songs a rooting in real country. In 1999 she had a breakthrough with Single White Female, whose title track not only topped the country charts but cracked the pop Top 40, but she had a hard time capitalizing on its success, stumbling with its 2001 sequel, Never Love You Enough, which may have charted higher than its predecessor, but that was only due to momentum. It not only didn't produce a big hit, it led to a separation from her major label, MCA. When she re-emerged nearly four years later on the indie Dualtone, she was part of a wave of artists from the '90s who turned toward indies after being abandoned by the majors, a movement that resulted in a bunch of interesting records that found artists who played the Nashville game for the better part of ten years finding their true voice nearly a decade into their career. Sometimes the results were uneven, but they were always interesting and often were quite good, sometimes resulting in the riskiest and best work of an artist's career, as is the case with Wright's 2005 album, The Metropolitan Hotel. For the first time, Wright wrote or co-wrote the majority of the material -- eight of the 12 songs bear a writing credit for her -- and produced the entire record herself five songs were co-produced with Jeff Huskins, one was co-produced with Stephony Smith. While she hasn't completely abandoned the sound of contemporary country-pop -- many of the songs could comfortably slip onto the radio -- the sound is stripped-back and direct, as is the emotion, which gives The Metropolitan Hotel an affecting immediacy. Not that all of it works -- the cloying "The Bumper of My S.U.V." is well-intentioned but is one of the more awkward Iraqi war songs -- but those missteps only enhance the feeling that this album is a personal work for Wright, and that she's willing to make mistakes along the way. Even if this is riskier than her previous albums, this album is still a hybrid of melodic, catchy contemporary country and the gutsy spirit of such '70s trailblazers as Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, and for every confessional like "Between a Mother and a Child" there are two or three engaging open-ended tales of love. And that's what makes The Metropolitan Hotel such a success -- it's the sound of a professional musician finding the right blend of personal of universal in her writing and the right blend of country and pop in her production, resulting in a record that's fully realized and multi-dimensional, easily her best and most complete album to date.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2005
  • Label: Dualtone Music Group
  • UPC: 803020120020
  • Catalog Number: 1200

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chely Wright Primary Artist
Eric Darken Percussion
Chip Davis Background Vocals
Steve Brewster Drums
Jimmy Carter Bass
Stuart Duncan Mandolin
Shannon Forrest Drums
Vince Gill Background Vocals
Chris McHugh Drums
Greg Morrow Drums
Gordon Mote Piano, Keyboards
The Nashville String Machine Strings
Russ Pahl Steel Guitar
Billy Panda Acoustic Guitar
Brian Sutton Acoustic Guitar
Jonathan Yudkin Mandolin, Strings
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle
Sean Hurley Bass
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar
John D. Willis Acoustic Guitar
Anthony Harrell Keyboards
Tom Bukovac Guitar, Electric Guitar
Scotty Sanders Steel Guitar
Travis Javis Piano
Emily West Background Vocals
Jeff King Guitar
Technical Credits
Chuck Berry Composer
Michael Davis Engineer
Richie Biggs Engineer
David Cole Engineer
Eddie Hill Composer
Steve Marcantonio Engineer
Stephony Smith Composer, Producer
Jimmy Tarbutton Engineer
Chely Wright Composer, Producer
Jeff Huskins Producer
Bonnie Baker Composer
Katie Gillon Art Direction
Pound Lamb Composer
Jim Beavers Composer
Lisa Drew Composer
David Frasier Composer
Eric Legg Engineer
Steve Crowder Engineer
Chip Matthews Engineer
Katrina Elam Composer
Josh Kear Composer
Liz Rose Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wright matures into an album artist

    After a four-year hiatus from album releases, and a departure from MCA for the artist-friendly indie Dualtone, Wright has returned with a songwriter's album. Her first self-produced album provides several interesting dichotomies. The self-penned songs are more personal than those she previously picked from Nashville's stable of writers, but at times the intimacy turns to treacle. Further, while the production is stripped back to a sound that balances nicely with Wright's earthy tenor, there's no escaping the years of being conditioned to the crossover sounds of her earlier radio-ready major-label releases. ¶ The result feels like the first step in a new phase of Wright's career – one that, as the lead track emotionally portrays, is fueled by songs rather than hits. Which isn't to suggest that there aren't potential hits to be found here, as the lead single, "The Bumper of My S.U.V.," has shown. But the interwoven tragedies of "The River," and the first-person narrative of "Between a Mother and a Child" exert the sort of emotional gravity that would pull listeners too far into their thoughts for a commercial break. While a few others Nashville artists fill out their albums with worthwhile non-hits (Patty Loveless being a prime example), Wright's turned the equation around: recording a cohesive, artistic album that just happens to feature a few hit-ready tracks. ¶ Hats off to Dualtone for stepping in to promote Wright as a musical artist, just as Nashville's majors decided she wasn't worth promoting as a hit single machine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I LOVE ON THE BUMMPER OF MY SUV.I

    I just love the song on the bummper of my suv.When i first lisened to the song i loved it iam a huge patriotic person and just like all of amirica i was sad of the events of 9/11 . I cried a lot that day and thats why i love this song. I have a cosion in the marines and in some way this song means a littel more specail to me she is not over in irac but that does not mean that i don't want our marines over thier and just not the marines but all of your us armed forces.I pray fro all of your troops that are over thier and thank them for all that they do and i hope that they all come home soon to be with ther family and friend who they must miss so much. joanna

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely wonderful!

    What a great collection of songs from such a talented artist, Shely Wright. The lyrics are heartfelt and refreshingly honest. These are songs that you can relate to...songs that make you feel...songs that make a statement! Both the songs and the artist capture a maturity that comes from the ups and downs of living. I enjoyed hearing the pre-release preview...and can't wait for the CD to arrive so I can listen to it again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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