Mind Of Mine EP - Lisa Wright
Now on her fourth EP it is easy to forget quite how great a body of work Lisa Wright has amassed, all of them come packed to the gills with quality tunes and the latest "Mind Of Mine" is both her most cohesive and personal batch of songs yet.
In this collection Lisa has truly made the EP that she wants to make rather than trying to second guess what the market or a record company is expecting and it is all the better for that way of thinking.The theme of the EP is very much summed up in the title, four songs which one way or another lead back to the singer and her state of mind. We are being invited in to the most inner sanctum, an area few artists are willing to reveal. The EP sleeve is also engaging, Chris Mann's cover shot is suitably beguiling, with Lisa staring at the viewe, looking neither happy nor sad almost daring you to guess what she is thinking. .
"Tennessee" the opening song on first listen sounds perfectly upbeat, it comes with a suitably catchy chorus but only on closer inspection does the true nature of the song become clear. The first verse finds Lisa completely alone in a bar not knowing anybody and this leads to all sorts of soul searching ending with the thought "maybe you're just not for me". The tune is classic country and the subtle change of words on the chorus towards the end is a classic piece of songwriting technique. Co written with Kaity Rae the irony will not be lost on Lisa if her most successful single turn out to be a song about not being successful!
The second song "Never Gonna Fall" again matches a seemingly upbeat tune with somewhat downbeat lyrics, for even if she finds the right person there is already a nagging doubt as she realises "it won't be the glue that heals the wound". The tune as mentioned earlier is almost summery in it's feel good nature and seems purpose built to sing along to which again is somewhat at odds with the words.
The third song is the exceptionally well recorded title track, producer Matt Greaves has managed to extract the maximum from the minimum of instrumentation.Listen to the opening, the gentlest of percussion, a soothing bass and an acoustic guitar providing the perfect backing for Lisa to sing over, the additional players when they come in are used very sparingly but to great effect. This is deeply personal material, take the words from the opening verse " as a kid mother said I had the world on my shoulders nothing has changed now that i'm older". Who have us have not occasionally sought "redemption in a bottle of wine?" but even this fails to "take the blues away". There are myriad of quotable lines in this song Is there anything sadder forinstance than the lines "I'm a beautiful liar when I say i'm doing fine".?
Fortunately there is a note of positivity in that the problem is recognized "I'm trying to change i'm dying to change" followed a few seconds later by a gentle affirming" mmm", The chorus is hugely enjoyable as the words tumble out to great effect rising and falling.
The final song "Giving Up The Ghost" about finally letting something go once again sees the atmosphere created from using the smallest amount of instruments. The most important one of course being Lisa's voice used to great effect to wring every ounce of emotion from the song, the final lines delivered as barely a whisper are almost heartbreaking. The opening verse ties very much in with the theme of the EP where we find Lisa "admitting my minds a fickle mess"
Without doubt this will be one of the finest EP's of the year, it comes with not a note or word out of place and deals with difficult subjects in an adult way while still attaching them to four cracking tunes. This is an EP that rightfully deserves to be in your collection.