With a growing number of country-style singer/songwriters emerging in the past year (hello Sasha McVeigh), Meghann Wright has put forth a valiant effort to prove herself worthy of her place in the industry with the release of Nothin' Left To Lose.
The album, from the moment it opens with "Black Kiss," proves itself to be far better than the self-released EP she put out last year. With a toe-tapping rhythm and stripped-back instrumentation, the track allows Wright's vocal to take center stage, and that's where it stays for the majority of all 13 tracks.
"Leavin' Cleveland" is slower, but gives a real demonstration of just how unique a voice Wright has, while the lyrics are simplistic and easy to learn. "River," meanwhile, sounds almost bluesy, providing a nice contrast before the pace picks up again for "Vacancy."
"Good Manners" isn't anything special, however "Diamonds Blaze" is quite possibly the best number on the collection. There's a distinct Fleetwood Mac feel to the song, which makes it super-catchy and perfect for the kind of mass sing-along sessions which Wright will likely try to kick off this summer when she plays all 40 dates on the Warped Tour.
The country rhythm to which "Most Wanted" arrives makes it suitable for feature on the likes of Nashville (Sadie Stone, I'm thinking of you), so it's then a little surprising to find Wright completely switch things up with a deep vocal performance for "Secrets", but it's a nice surprise nonetheless.
Proving she can do soulful as well as the best of them, "Sunshine Through The Rain" offers up a really good insight into the variety of styles Wright is comfortable with, while ensuring the album maintains the really strong flow with which it has progressed so far.
Tracks 10, 11, and 12 are inclusions from her EP, and it is those numbers that greatly impact just how good of an album this is - she may well have been far better leaving them off and replacing them with new material. Nevertheless, they do detail just how far she has come in the last 12 months (hint: pretty far!) and how well her songwriting has evolved in that time.
She ends the album with a cover, something very few artists have done in the past, but with her rendition of "Motorcycle Drive By," originally by Third Eye Blind; were anyone thinking that country artists can't re-work rock songs for a new audience, she shoots them down in a matter of minutes.
Country music is far from as one-sided as it used to be and Wright has, with this collection, proven that such artists shouldn't be disregarded.
Warped Tour, you're about to be pleasantly surprised.