The CD has a deeply satisfying trajectory. The first few tracks rise to the lyrical, exuberant love song "Lucky One." Then "Sheila" descends into the inevitable difficulties of relationships, delivering an angry plea to an intruding third party. The album hits its emotional nadir with two songs about the pain of faltering relationships "Let's Not Do This" and "Only You Would Know" before turning again toward hope. But now it is a mature, unsentimental hope. On "Bruised Peach" the singer has gained a hard-earned willingness to wait, and a profound understanding of someone else's pain. On "Still Ticking," Doyle wryly celebrates her own resilience: "And even if I'm not / the one you end up picking / At least I know my heart's / still ticking."
The album closes with "I Feel Grateful," featuring just piano and Doyle's voice, and an almost hymnlike melody: "I've got my music / to get me through / dark times / and I feel grateful / I do."
We, too, can be grateful for Doyle's music, to get us through both dark and good times.
[Originally published in February, 2004.]