Picketts singer Christy McWilson has one of those voices that, when you hear it, it matters little what she’s singing; the sound of her voice alone makes the experience worthwhile–think a throaty Kelly Willis. Producer Dave Alvin may describe her as a “roots-rock Sylvia Plath,” but between the warmth of her warble and the perkiness of the production, all thoughts of suicide are held at bay. True, she sings of sober subjects such as growing older (“Apple Doll”) and the business end of the music biz (“Fly Away”), but the energy of the performances and the out-and-out gorgeousness of her instrument make The Lucky One a cathartic rather than a depressing experience. Unfortunately, Alvin’s L.A. alternative sound tends to obscure rather than highlight McWilson (say what you will about Nashville productions, they do know how to record great voices). Enjoyable as the Spectorish “Someday” is, one wishes her powerful vocal were set off rather than just another element in the wall of sound; elsewhere, her lowest notes are often nearly lost. Still, Alvin is to be lauded for rescuing a real talent from potential obscurity, and those who experiences McWilson’s womanly wail can consider themselves among the lucky ones. –Michael Ross
First page of the Christy McWilson archive.