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.