Elizabeth Withers - It Can Happen to Anyone (2007)

Elizabeth Withers
ElisabethWithers-ItCan.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

As anyone who has seen the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple or has heard the accompanying soundtrack can attest, Elisabeth Withers can sing.  Possessing a powerful voice that has elements of Betty Wright in it but more resembles a young Gladys Knight, Withers shows a bit of church and a lot of passion as she takes on the songs on her debut album, It Can Happen to Anyone.  And nowhere is that more evident than on "Simple Things," the fantastic opening number that has all the features of a classic 70s Southern Soul ballad, a la "Misty Blue."  It is a great way to introduce the world to Withers, who makes the song her own and instantly proves herself to be the real deal. 

As anyone who has seen the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple or has heard the accompanying soundtrack can attest, Elisabeth Withers can sing.  Possessing a powerful voice that has elements of Betty Wright in it but more resembles a young Gladys Knight, Withers shows a bit of church and a lot of passion as she takes on the songs on her debut album, It Can Happen to Anyone.  And nowhere is that more evident than on "Simple Things," the fantastic opening number that has all the features of a classic 70s Southern Soul ballad, a la "Misty Blue."  It is a great way to introduce the world to Withers, who makes the song her own and instantly proves herself to be the real deal. 

Nothing else on It Can Happen to Anyone is quite as compelling as "Simple Things," but Withers consistently handles the mixed bag of urban adult contemporary and dance numbers with aplomb.  Radio is now all over the suggestive first single, "Be With You," but the real hidden gem is the Gordon Chambers composition "Heartstrings," a smooth midtempo cut that is as well performed as it is written.  The disc slips a bit on a few faceless dance numbers and the fairly sanctimonious why-can't'-we-all-live-in-peace cut "The World Ain't Ready," but recovers nicely on the upbeat closing number, "Next To You." 

Throughout It Can Happen To Anyone, Withers proves herself to be a memorable vocalist who has moments of brilliance, and who certainly has the potential to build on the high points of this debut album and to stake a claim as one of the most talented modern urban vocalists.

By Chris Rizik

 
Album of the Month - Plunky & Oneness - "Afroclectic"
Choice Cut - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Featured Album - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

Leave a comment!