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Dreaming Wide Awake
     

Dreaming Wide Awake

5.0 7
by Lizz Wright
 

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A masterpiece can surface at any moment in the career of a truly gifted musician. In the case of the young singer Lizz Wright, her second album is the charm. Wright's debut Salt gave notice that this was a special talent, a bright new vocalist equally comfortable with folk, jazz, and pop. Dreaming Wide Awake may veer away from the

Overview

A masterpiece can surface at any moment in the career of a truly gifted musician. In the case of the young singer Lizz Wright, her second album is the charm. Wright's debut Salt gave notice that this was a special talent, a bright new vocalist equally comfortable with folk, jazz, and pop. Dreaming Wide Awake may veer away from the first album's overt jazz influences, but Wright's winningly eclectic ways are still in stunning view. If Wright carries vestiges of the work of such stylistic titans as Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and Cassandra Wilson, it's to her credit that she draws only from the best. Dreaming establishes its own blissful environment, one where contemporary material (Joe Henry's "Stop," Chocolate Genius’s “Chasing Strange”) meets perfectly chosen pop chestnuts ("Get Together," "A Taste of Honey," “I’m Confessin’,” Neil Young's "Old Man”). Wright's gorgeous tone, sensuous delivery, and tastefully understated vocal interpretations make each song sound as if it were commissioned strictly for her. And the material that Wright did compose or help write herself is top-drawer, revealing yet another impressive aspect of her burgeoning art. Credit for the album’s appeal must be shared with Wright’s producer, Craig Street, the studio wizard who had earlier assisted Cassandra Wilson in finding her unique vision as a recording artist. It would be unfair to label Wright the “next” Norah Jones, although she surely will draw Jones fans to her side. Let’s just call her today’s Lizz Wright, a gift to present-day popular music.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The smoky, sizzlingly soulful rural Georgian created an immediate and well-deserved critical firestorm with her 2003 debut Salt; the L.A. Times wasn't overstating it when they said, "She walked onstage at the Hollywood Bowl a virtual unknown...Fifteen minutes later, she walked off a star." Like her more (so far, but maybe not for long) renowned labelmate Diana Krall, Lizz Wright is a brilliant interpreter who can cover rock classics (Neil Young's "Old Man," the Youngbloods' "Get Together") as if they were fresh new generational statements, and even give an emotional urgency to fluffy classics like "A Taste of Honey" (done all swampy here). She even works wonders with her transcendent twist on Ella Jenkins' "Wake Up Little Sparrow," turning the tune into a meditation on the bluesy realities of love. But she is also an inspired songwriter in her own "wright," creating the resonating and heartrending, Norah Jones-like "Hit the Ground," with Jones' writer Jesse Harris, and other instantly seductive tracks like a soaring "Trouble" (the first song she ever wrote on guitar) and hauntingly dark title tune. These latter two, easily on par with the original material, shouldn't be so deep in the mix, and Wright should definitely include more originals as time goes on. Clearly aware that he has a future legend with a one in a million voice on his hands -- and that anything getting in the way of that intimate emotional connection would be criminal -- producer Craig Street provides only the sparsest and down-home of productions.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/14/2005
Label:
Verve Forecast
UPC:
0075021038028
catalogNumber:
000406902

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lizz Wright   Primary Artist,Vocals
Marc Anthony Thompson   Harmonica,Background Vocals
Chris Bruce   Guitar
Bill Frisell   Guitar
Earl Harvin   Drums
Jeff Haynes   Percussion
Greg Leisz   Guitar
David Piltch   Bass
Toshi Reagon   Vocals,Background Vocals
Patrick Warren   Keyboards
Glenn Patscha   Keyboards,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Neil Young   Composer
Joe Henry   Composer
Marc Anthony Thompson   Composer
Ella Jenkins   Composer
Dougie Bowne   Composer
Yuka Honda   Composer
Danny Kopelson   Engineer
Joe McEwen   Executive Producer
Michael Musmanno   Engineer
J. Neiburg   Composer
Chester Powers   Composer
Toshi Reagon   Composer
Ellis Reynolds   Composer
Bobby Scott   Composer
Craig Street   Producer
Matthew Cullen   Engineer
Steve Mazur   Engineer
Donna Ranieri   Photo Production
Ron Goldstein   Executive Producer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Ric Marlow   Composer
Doc Daugherty   Composer
Carlos Henderson   Composer
Lizz Wright   Composer
Jason Mott   Engineer
Kevin Dean   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love her voice, its so intoxicating and smooth. All of the track are fabulous and I'm really glad I listerned, because before today I had never heard her before. Sooo beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Liz's voice gets sweeter with every note. Her styling and shaping of her vocal instrument is reminiscent of Cassandra Wilson, Anita Baker, and a little Billie, but Liz possesses a beauty and distinct uniqueness all her own. I was shocked when "Salt" wasn't nominated for the Best Jazz Vocal Grammy, because by far it was one of the best albums of that year. Liz has changed her approach from "Salt" a bit, but this album is a winner from beginning to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Someone has finally taken the baton that Sade sprinted with for so long and carried it further. I love this album...its such a great alternative to the bump & grind grooves on the radio. Wright's sound is soulful, bluesy and she's not afraid to take risks. This CD was highlighted in the August edition of Essence magazine and they hit the mark. I love it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this cd on a whim, boy was I pleasently surprised. Lizz Wright is a phenomenal singer. This cd is a must for all to have and you will truly enjoy it. Silky, smooth songs!! She deserves many grammy's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
EVERYONE HAS TALKED ABOUT DIANE KRALL AND NORAH JONES , BUT LIZZ WRIGHT HAS A VOICE THAT IS REMARKABLE AND I HOPE THAT THE MUSIC CRITICS WILL GIVE HER SOME RECOGNITION
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lizz has such a deep resonance and soft delivery. Her voice is so intoxicatingly beautiful you will not believe your ears when you hear her sing. "Dreaming Wide Awake" is more pop-like than "Salt" was jazzy (her first cd). Both this cd and Norah Jones's "Come Away With Me" are produced at least in part by Craig Street. So the excellence is comparable. If you like Norah Jones, Michael Bublé or cd's by Chris Botti - then you will love this one - promise. The deep whispery classic "Taste of Honey" is not even remotely similar to Herb Alpert's of years ago but wow is it a stunner. I absolutely adore "I'm confessin'" and "Old Man" which has never sounded better. I predict this one will be a huge Grammy winner this year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lizz has done it again ! A very well crafted album with great vocals and soulful arrangements. Pop/Jazz/Gospel...you will have them all on this enjoyable recording. Lizz now can stand next to the greatest such as Anita Baker and Regina Belle.