Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart: Bright City Lights
"Bright City Lights" rips open the album of the same name with a big rock sound—a drum roll, tough guitars, and a push of organ. It fairly screams "roots," and it makes good on that promise at every turn, echoing the best elements of the Wallflowers, Ryan Adams's Cardinals, and an imaginarily distaff Black Crowes. Whiskey Heart may be Rebecca Haviland's band, but the term describes the honeyed bourbon strut of her voice as well. The languid "Secrets of My Heart," with its sweet Southern horns, could actually be sung by Chris Robinson; "Goodbye" might have been tracked in Muscle Shoals, rather than Brooklyn; and the piano-based "You and I" shares an urge with Tift Merritt, but with Haviland's added smoke. Coproduced by Don Dilego, Bright City Lights is the rare seven-song disc that deserves to stretch to a full dozen tunes.