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Courtney Jaye: Traveling Light

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This CD is suspicious. You’ve got a pretty girl with a good voice singing adult contemporary pop songs with that folky/Americana influence that could appeal to either the Norah Jones crowd or the singer/songwriter fan base. However, Jaye utilizes co-writers for all of her songs. Can you be a singer/songwriter if you don’t write any songs on your own? And unlike a Norah Jones or Vanessa Carlton who play an instrument, Jaye appears to only sing on the album, leaving any instrumentation to studio musicians.

If all of that is ignored and you just listen to the music “Traveling Light” is a fairly solid album. It’s a pleasant listen and Jaye’s voice works well with the arrangements. Unfortunately, nothing about the collection feels very individual or unique. We’ve heard songs like these hundreds of times before. Jaye does them decently well, however, not well enough that she stands out above the others she sounds like.

The combination of everything makes it hard to recommend this album. If she (and others like her) would start going by, say, “Courtney Jaye and Company” the package stops making Jaye front and center with our attention which she doesn’t deserve. That would make the whole deal feel more honest and, thus, more enjoyable.

If you hear a song or two that you enjoy, use iTunes to pick them up. Don’t waste your time on this CD unless you hear the whole thing and find it appeals to you.

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About The Theory

  • http://www.pmmediareview.com/ Mark Runyon

    If you’re only going to checkout one song off this album I’d suggest “Can’t Behave.” Damn thing is fiercely addictive. I saw her several years back perform a couple songs with Kirsten Hall, and that voice is the real deal. Unfortunately, it gets hidden in all the production. I agree with you. The label is grooming her to be a pop star rather than milking her true artistry. Here was my write-up on Traveling Light.

  • johnny

    actually, if you’d do your research, you’d know that courtney plays guitar on all songs. and when she plays live, plays on all songs as well.

  • Heather van Reenen

    [comment deleted]

  • Christy

    Heather – I totally agree with you! She is the most soulful performer I have ever seen live! I know that she wrote her own songs and played the guitar on her album – and at of her live shows. She is AMAZING!

  • Jodi

    I own Courtney’s CD and I must say her voice is absolutely wonderful.She is an up and coming artist who should be commended for her soothing songs.

  • charles goldberg

    Dear Theory
    You theory about Countney Jaye shows the lack of preparation you did to come to your theory. Courtney Jaye is my daughter and she has written many songs by herself only to be encourage by her manager to share these songs with artists that he represented so that when everything was done they would get some credit and HE (her manager) WOULD BENEFIT finacially.
    I have a theory to, if you have never made a CD what would you really know
    about the music business. I can tell you I have paid for 11 years of guitar lessons and she can play better than you write.I have saved your review to mail to your management when she wins her first grammy or when she has her first major hit so they can see just how in TUNE you really are. By the way the LA Times review said just that so beleive it or not she no Ashley Simpson which is what you seemed to be comparing her to. You might what to research out the next artist you write about because your gut theory doesn’t work.

  • The Theory

    It is, indeed, encouraging that she plays guitar. However, I’m afraid that wouldn’t change my opinion on the album. If she does, indeed, play guitar then I do, indeed, put her in the same category as a Vanessa Carlton or Norah Jones… and that’s not bad company.

    Regarding everything else I stand strong, however. You can try to blame it on management, but she IS listed as only co-writer. I don’t care how much of the song she wrote by herself, if someone else did some tinkering to it to get co-writing credit, then that it too much, at least for the singer/songwriter genre.

    This phrase, I think, sums it up the best…

    It’s a pleasant listen and Jaye’s voice works well with the arrangements. Unfortunately, nothing about the collection feels very individual or unique. We’ve heard songs like these hundreds of times before. Jaye does them decently well, however, not well enough that she stands out above the others she sounds like.

  • pagel

    I dont care what a critic says ….Courtney your the kind rainbow sister that ive known for years and you will always have a positive fan base . Critics that write for mags or papers are the individuals that didnt have a lick of soul or the persistance of being a true or honest musican .Courtney is true , honest and a great songwriter and she just happens to be a beautiful woman .

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