Toby Lightman

Toby Lightman

Toby Lightman

Bird on a Wire


Toby Lightman’s 2004 debut Little Things was one of the most innovative and compelling debuts I’ve ever had the pleasure to review. It was both classic and contemporary, but it spectacularly failed to ignite the charts in the way I, and many others, anticipated.

So kudos to Atlantic for giving this talented singer-songwriter a second chance to shine; the question is, can Bird On A Wire make the breakthrough Lightman’s talent deserves?

Producers Bill Bottrell and Patrick Leonard have not dramatically altered Lightman’s fusion of R&B, pop and rock, and her vocal delivery remains as soulful and powerful as ever, but I’m just not convinced it contains a breakout single that can propel the album into the national consciousness.

“Slippin’,” with its summery, laid-back vibe, makes a brave attempt at being that song, but there’s a spark missing from the writing that prevents it from being truly memorable. Ditto the sassy opener, “Don’t Wake Me,” the first single “Holding Me Down” and the rock-pop of “Alone.” These four are decent enough songs, but hardly career-defining, and the rest of the material on Bird On A Wire is largely forgettable.

After all the promise shown on Little Things, Bird on a Wire is ultimately a disappointment.

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