Cheryl Wheeler has a knack for infusing her songs with intense emotion using her voice alone. I was first attracted to her music through humorous songs like “Potato,” but I’ve come to love the heart-breakers as well. Defying Gravity kicks off with one of those heart-breakers (“Since You’ve Been Gone”), and the pain in her voice is so evident that one can almost touch it. The CD then shifts into a contemplative picture with the song “Little Road,” and the voice that was just wrought with pain is now full of hushed reverence.
Meandering on through the recordings of reflective moments and regret, as well as contented happiness, Defying Gravity lays out the depth and breadth of Wheeler’s songwriting. Thrown in here and there are a couple of songs that comment on recent events (“Here Come Floyd”) and some of the trials of modern life in America (“On the Plane”). Wheeler even delights those of use who enjoy her wit with a tribute to the classics in her commentary on cell phone ring tones (“It’s the Phone”).
All the way from heartache to whimsy, Wheeler takes us along the paths of life’s journey.