Lizz Wright, Shadow Review

Lizz Wright’s Shadow and the Art of Musical Healing


Lizz Wright, Shadow Review

Lizz Wright’s Shadow and the Art of Musical Healing

by Sylvannia Garutch

Liz-Wright-CDLizz Wright’s latest studio album, Shadow, marks a pivotal moment in her illustrious career. This album celebrates her journey but also serves as a profound exploration of grief, love, and the indomitable spirit of resilience. Released under her label Blues & Greens Records, Wright’s Shadow reflects her artistic freedom and a deep dive into the emotional landscapes that have shaped her musical expression and influential jazz and gospel vocal style.

At the core of Shadow are Wright’s vocal abilities, which have never been more resonate or powerful. Her voice, a rich tapestry woven from her gospel roots and jazz-infused sensibilities, is both commanding and comforting. On tracks like “Your Love,” featuring Meshell Ndegeocello and Brandee Younger, Wright masterfully blends R&B grooves with the ethereal punctuation of the harp, creating a soul-stirring melody that resonates long after the last note.

The album’s texture is further enriched by the diverse array of covers and originals. Each song is carefully chosen to complement Wright’s narrative of introspection and celebration. The renditions of classics by Cole Porter and Sandy Denny are not mere covers; they are reimaginations that breathe new life into these songs, allowing Wright to infuse them with her unique blend of emotional depth and musical precision.

Shadow is significantly shaped by its production, where Wright and her collaborators, including the gifted Chris Bruce and Ryan Freeland, have crafted a sparse and richly layered sound. The acoustic settings underscore the album’s introspective nature, while occasional lush string arrangements and bold contributions from guest artists like Angelique Kidjo and Arun Ramamurthy add a vibrant texture to the mix.

The thematic heart of Shadow is its exploration of loss and love, inspired by the passing of Wright’s grandmother, Martha. This loss threads through the album, not as a shadow of grief but as a beacon of the transformative power of love. Wright’s storytelling is at its most potent in songs like “Root of Mercy” and “This Way,” where she uses her music to traverse the complex terrains of human emotions.

Wright’s ability to connect with her listeners is unparalleled. Songs like “Sweet Feeling” and “Lost In The Valley” are universally musical tracks with the experiences that Wright shares with her audience, inviting them into her world of reflective tranquility and poignant memories. The inclusion of diverse musical elements, from the Carnatic violin to the atmospheric electronics, ensures that Shadow is an engaging listen.

In conclusion, Lizz Wright’s Shadow showcases her powerful narrative of enduring through life’s challenges through her beautiful gift of song. With Shadow, Wright continues to show why many regard her as one of the great voices of modern American music today. With its depth, diversity, and sincerity, this album is undoubtedly a standout, offering a musical embrace that feels like home, no matter where you find yourself.

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