KATHERINE WHEATLEY —
By Richard Flohil
NEW LIFE, NEW CD, NEW HEART, NEW SPIRIT
Ask any songwriter for advice, and the answer is always the same: "Write what you know." It's counsel that
Katherine Wheatley has frequently given—and it's advice that she's followed on her emotionally powerful new CD, Landed.
Here is what Wheatley knows: Doubt, betrayal and loss. Courage, strength and discovery. This is what else she
knows: how to make songs universal and how to write tunes you remember, lyrics that are believable, and stories
that touch the heart and mind.
Christmas comes 'round each December
Robins return every spring
Wild aster blooms each September
But some people don't come back again
The songs on Landed are an intimate reflection on growing up, loyalty, relationship, loss, revenge and—most of all—resilience. And when Wheatley sings about making it work, you feel like dancing.
Monday, the boys have basketball
Tuesday, they wait for you to call
Wednesday, I get them to the rink by five
Thursday, car pool, my turn to drive
Friday comes and Saturday goes.
Sunday, heaven knows....
It's taken 10 years for Katherine to release her third album. She started the project four years ago, and then—with
big changes in her life—she put the album on hold until new songs emerged. She asked two others songwriters,
Lynn Miles and Scott Merritt, to produce the record. They demanded that Katherine meet this standard for every
line of every song: "Will people believe it?" A line that seemed maudlin? An awkward phrase? A verse that needed
clarity? Scott and Lynn insisted Katherine get the eraser and sharpener out. They insisted she be truthful.
The result: Landed is a collection of 11 songs that are not only Wheatley's very best work, but give a perfect indication
of the grace, power and emotional impact of her live performance.
This is a strong woman, a survivor, and a person who has indeed—despite the bumpy journey—landed. As the
title song puts it:
I landed, I made it through
I landed without help from you
When I landed, it felt so sweet....
...'Cause I landed on my own two feet.