Corbi Wright – All The Little Ways

Corbi Wright
All The Little Ways

Albums like Corbi Wright’s All The Little Ways are often difficult to review. Each song features only her voice with the accompaniment of a piano or a guitar and they are all extremely similar in style and tempo. There is a struggle between the album and the songs themselves. The album itself fades away into the background nearly immediately and is easily forgotten once it has finished. Just the plinking of a piano and indecipherable vocals ring through the head as if all the songs have melted together into one.

The choice here is to forget about this as a collection and rather take it song by song. Individually they offer the listener the chance to explore the details of her words and the voice that brings them to life. The album opens with Wright’s shaky voice over spare piano chords in “Love Will Win”. She sings of a struggle where she is unsure of the outcome and her voice sounds like it’s on the edge of being happy, but something is holding her back. “Is This the Season” follows with her voice over selective notes on an electric guitar, played very softly. Her voice is different here. No longer does she sound shaky and unsure, but rather deep and sad with the voice more like a lounge singer. She has a very interesting way of letting her voice help tell the story by acting as character in the scene.

Wright’s debut has a timeless quality about it help to give each song an individual charm. Like the songs of Norah Jones, Wright has a voice that can easily span generations. Although, unlike Miss Jones, Wright hasn’t figured out the key to captivating an audience and holding onto their attention with ups, downs and everything in between. I thought for sure she must have at least one song that goes even a tiny bit beyond the starkness so heavily leaned on in every song. In the song “Can You Boogie?” she doesn’t even crack a smile let alone begin to move her feet. Wright even admits, “I don’t want to let myself go”. And she certainly doesn’t come close to a boogie while she sings “Can you boogie woogie?” in a melodic high-pitched tone followed by several “la la la’s”. But her voice does let go at different points within the song and begins to show less softness and even the guitar sounds harsh and angry in spots. However, in “Now And Then” she quickly returns to her soft, melodic ways over spare piano chords.

All The Little Ways is not an album designed to provide the listener with an overall experience that easy flows from one song to the other. To put the album on and expect it to shine all the way through will just leave you with disappointment, even when after the fifth listen you can’t remember a single song. However, what this album is designed to do is provide with you a series of songs that, individually, will give you an experience within themselves. Corbi Wright’s soft yet slightly scratchy voice can soothe your troubles and provide you with a story, but unfortunately a listener can only handle so much of her before it all blends together and becomes boring.