Michelle Wright

Strap yourself in tight and get ready to embrace an exciting new chapter in Michelle Wright's career that has so appropriately been titled Shut Up and Kiss Me. After compiling two dozen hits and collecting a mantle full of awards over the past dozen years, longtime fans, and even those listeners who had pigeonholed the dynamic entertainer, will be doing double takes when they are ambushed by the lyrical snap and rhythmic sizzle of the pop powered pieces that Wright has wrapped her heart and soul around.

Anchored by the magnetic and riveting first single Shut Up and Kiss Me or Just Shut Up, this disc is a reflection of Wright's perseverance, set-backs, new artistic unions and triumphs as an artist. "There's a focus on Shut Up and Kiss Me that is set in the writing. I can thank my manager Brian Ferriman and a few other individuals I trust for that turn. Brian just told me to go write a couple of years ago and the process started to flow. I was just writing what I felt and the other songwriters I was collaborating with all understood where I was coming from", chimes Wright, whose name is stamped on eight of the album's cuts.

Wright knew she was onto something worth clinging to when tunes like I Surrender, Broken, and Thank You For Your Love started spilling out of her. The rewards of this new found artistic freedom are obvious upon the first listen to Love Is The Only Way. The emotional stakes seem higher when Wright wraps her flexible and instantly identifiable instrument around other standout songs like I Will Be There, Sorry, and the title track. "Singing this material is just so much easier. The way the songs came out, it felt natural to go with certain progressions and know that my voice wanted to go there with them", says Wright, who then turned to longtime friends and confidants for their opinions and came away reassured she was making the best music of her career.

Not only had the entire creative process of the past two years put her in a place where the singer and songwriter felt a great sense of achievement and personal satisfaction, her personal life had taken some dramatic turns and suddenly she had never felt so content, happy, and grounded.

The tune Shut Up and Kiss Me or Just Shut Up may not have been directly born out of her new love life that has taken her down the aisle this spring, but the song neatly, unabashedly and triumphantly announces where she's at emotionally these days. "That song showed up just a few months ago from a writing team in Los Angeles. Steven Drake (of Odds fame) did a great job producing it," says Wright of the tune she delivers with such a show stopping combination of power and passion. The same can be said for the creative spins the other project producers, Russ DeSalvo and Eric Silver respectively, put on tunes like Broken and Still No Shangri-La. "It's taken a few years, but I'm so proud of this album and having been able to spread my wings."

Yes, this is a new chapter from one of Canada's premiere artists. One who accepted her first award in 1989 from RPM as Top Female Vocalist, and who over the subsequent 13 years walked to podiums in music centers like Los Angeles and Toronto to accept another 31 awards. The Academy of Country Music, The Junos, and The Canadian Country Music Association have all honored Michelle over the years, as has Much Music. Couple those well deserved moments of recognition with 24 Top Ten hits, seven of which hit #1, and Wright's career is one that most artists can only dream of.

With that in mind, perhaps it's now time for the rest of us to just shut up and listen... and once again enjoy the fruits of Michelle Wright's hard work and God given talents that have fuelled this new and stunning piece of work.

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