There is an old interview with Luciano Pavarotti where he compares preparing his voice and lungs for a performance to a Ferrari just before a race - just the right blend of air and energy must be harnessed for the performance to reach its apex, for the car to win the race. I would argue that, in the case of race car drivers, Pavarotti and all great singers, soul is a third critical component, and that Carrie Wicks vocal performance on "Maybe" achieves that goal; she wins the race.
Wicks - who was once compared to both Billie Holiday and Jim Morrison in a previous CD review (!) - seems to always add just the right amount of her own soul to fuel forward her strong but subtle lyrics. From the opening of "Ghost of a Perfect Flame" - a beautiful song of longing for the one who maybe got away, to the closing doleful lines of "Solitude" - Wicks imbues "Maybe" with a thoughtful, introspective air befitting but sometimes contrasting with her soothing voice.
Indeed, throughout the CD, Carrie dares to peer into the darkest corners of her soul - territory that many artists are reluctant to mine - in order to transcend the darkness and offer the listener the gift of awareness, and what might be below. "Afternoon" is a tribute to the blues in this way, but for me the best example of Wick's gift can be heard in the beautiful "Bottom of Your Heart", where she croons: "There is beauty in the depths of despair/in shining light in what's beyond repair/things you might not see coming, you best beware/in the bottom of your heart". She follows that with a couple verses of relaxed but unrestrained scat before closing the song out on a very hopeful note: "Remember - you're never alone".
With "Maybe", you definitely won't be.