Lifted Off the Ground by Chely Wright
This set could have just as easily been titled Up out of the Pit. Inspired by a romantic breakup in 2006, Chely catalogues her various stages of grief, including sorrow, anger, doubt and hope on this raw set of songs. On “Broken,” she holds out hope for reconciliation for a pair of imperfect lovers, stating that We are just you and me / The sum of all our injuries. Singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell applies a light hand in his role as producer, creating simple, effective backdrops that allow Chely’s vocals to remain at the fore. Chely’s performance vaguely recalls edgy rocker Alanis Morissette on the guitar-driven (and R-rated) “Damn Liar,” on which she vents all her pent-up anger at a dishonest lover before continuing her diatribe with “Object of Your Rejection.” In the witty piece of black comedy “Notes to the Coroner,” Chely finds some humor in becoming A big ball of pain and pajamas. “Shadows of Doubt” closes the disc with a weary hopefulness and a two-minute instrumental coda that exemplifies the experimental spirit of the record, which finds Chely at her most bare and honest.