One Track Mind: Lizz Wright, "Trouble" (2005)

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by Pico

In the last three or four years, Georgia native Lizz Wright has created a stir in the same folk-jazz circles that Cassandra Wilson, Nina Simone and Oleta Adams have made their names in, but with her 2005 release Dreaming Wide Awake, she moved further into Sarah McLachlan territory. The Wilson connection became stronger with the recruitment of Cassandra’s producer Craig Street, who provides the same kind of home grown feel to this collection as he’s done for Wilson, k.d. lang and Me’Shell NdegéOcello.

The album is full of nicely done, understated remakes of familiar songs as wide ranging as “A Taste Of Honey”, “Old Man” and “Get Together.” These covers are supplemented by some originals that show off Wright’s budding songwriter skills. The one original that especially stands out among the others is the first one she composed on guitar, a tune named “Trouble.”

Like most of her music, “Trouble” has a low key way of achieving a certain loftiness about it. It starts with Wright’s empathetic, gentle vocal, and is perfectly supported by the sparse, efficient production, putting Wright’s rhythmic acoustic guitar up near the front. It’s a song that carries enough emotional feel to compel you to learn the lyrics, which is about appealing to a Higher Being to stay strong in the midst of dispair. You then sense the added weightedness when The B-3 organ opens up in the chorus and the prayer is then made:

I´m gonna ride this pain like a wave
Lord, make me over I don´t wanna be afraid
And when my time is come and gone
I don´t wanna be the one who can´t let go

As the daughter of a minister Wright’s extensive gospel and soul upbringing really shines through on a song that required the right amount of heart-warming conveyance to pull off as well as she did. It’s the same reason why I think Liv Taylor’s treatment of Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” hits it out of the park. “Trouble” is a Lizz Wright song that’s hard to let go.


Listen: Lizz Wright “Trouble”

Purchase: Lizz Wright Dreaming Wide Awake

“One Track Mind” is a more-or-less weekly drool over a single song selected on a whim and a short thesis on why you should be drooling over it, too.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron
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