Light As a Feather
American singer/songwriter Toby Lightmanâ€šÃ„Ã´s sophomore release, â€šÃ„ÃºBird On a Wire,â€šÃ„Ã¹ is chock full of adult-alternative folky tracks that showcase her organic, bluesy vocals. She has a lovely voice and most of the songs are individually good but they donâ€šÃ„Ã´t vary much, making the CD collectively unextraordinary.Lightman may be from New York but she sounds like sheâ€šÃ„Ã´s from the South. The CD starts with the infectious, honky tonk, take-no-prisoners country-rock track â€šÃ„ÃºDonâ€šÃ„Ã´t Wake Meâ€šÃ„Ã¹ a song about tricking her man to learn his true intentions. Lightman evokes redneck woman Gretchen Wilson when she sings â€šÃ„ÃºIf I find out now before I’m in too deep / Don’t want my heart to break over some kinda creep.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Most tracks show Lightmanâ€šÃ„Ã´s internal strength like the upbeat, guitar-heavy â€šÃ„ÃºBringing Me Down.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Frustrated, she sings, â€šÃ„ÃºQuit bringing me down / You better take it while you can get it / Cause I won’t hang around if you’re holding me down.â€šÃ„Ã¹ It makes songs like the introspective â€šÃ„ÃºIâ€šÃ„Ã´d Be Lostâ€šÃ„Ã¹ that much nicer because itâ€šÃ„Ã´s about vulnerability. She reveals, â€šÃ„ÃºOh don’t you ever go away, for I’d be lost out there.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Lightman is best with soulful songs like the post-breakup â€šÃ„ÃºMy Sweet Song.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The orchestration is unobtrusive, highlighting her vocals. The lyrics are sad but she shows some chutzpah singing, â€šÃ„ÃºYour fantasy, it don’t work for me / Go and pick on someone else.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Bird On a Wire is enjoyable but not particularly memorable. Lightman gives it her all vocally and is capable of standing out among similar singers, but this CD may not be the one to do that for her.