Jacqui Naylor’s eighth album is also her most democratic. Prior to the recording sessions, Naylor assembled a group of 90 friends and fans, performed 25 songs, asked her guests to rate each on a 1-5 scale, and included the highest-scoring 15 on Lucky Girl. Continuing along a democratic path, she shares producer credits with all three bandmates: Art Khu (piano, organ, Rhodes, guitars), Jon Evans (basses, percussion, lap steel) and Josh Jones (drums and percussion). As the title suggests, the 15 tracks-six covers, including a stunning treatment of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” and nine originals, all co-written with Khu-tend to be sunny. Even on the melancholy “It Was Supposed to Work Out,” rays of optimism poke through the gloom.
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