Shannon Wright

Over the Sun

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With her days in Crowsdell far behind her, singer/songwriter Shannon Wright has established herself as a true solo artist. She's never been concerned with writing for the masses, for arriving at a sound that's both inventive and emotional is what's important to her. Looking at past albums such as her 1999 debut, Flightsafety, and 2002's gem Dyed in the Wool, Wright has emerged confident and convincing on her fourth release, Over the Sun. For what could possibly be the finest moment of her solo career, Wright tames herself, vocally and musically, for a warm storm of emotional richness. Producer Steve Albini joins her for a second time and assists Wright in focusing on the abrasiveness of her lyrics while lifting the strength of her guitar playing. That's not to say Wright is less expressive on Over the Sun. It's just that the straining theatrics of Maps of Tacit and Dyed in the Wool aren't nearly as distracting. Instead, Wright introduces Victory at Sea drummer Christina Files (the Swirlies, Mary Timony) for an added backdrop, and composes an autumnal atmosphere soaked in pianos, crisp guitars, and Wright's classic self-deprecating lyrics. From the bellowing chill of "With Closed Eyes" to the tumbling churns of "Black Little Stray," Wright doesn't let the songs get away from her. Over the Sun is so close and loaded in feeling, it's almost as if the instances are inside your head. If not, the hushing tweaking of "Plea" and the cracked stillness of "Throw a Blanket Over the Sun" will startle you.

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