Picks and Pans Review: Lizz Wright

updated 02/25/2008 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/25/2008 01:00AM

The Orchard |

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REVIEWED BY V.R. PETERSON

JAZZ-POP

The third disc is the charm for Wright, who startles listeners with a smoky voice and a rootsy-gospel vibe. Again the Georgia native does more than sing—she shares writing credits on eight of Orchard's dozen tracks, including "Speak Your Heart," a lover's plea to "let me in or let me go/It's time to let me know where you're standing, babe." She also covers songs by an eclectic array of artists such as Led Zeppelin and Patsy Cline and transforms Ike Turner's bluesy "I Idolize You" into a fusion of honky-tonk piano, searing guitar and raw desire. But it's "My Heart" (cowritten by singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon), with a relentless beat and infectious refrain, that's sure to please.

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