by Al Kaufman
Ask any great songwriter and they will tell you the hardest song to write is a happy song. Using that criteria, Catie Curtis is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
With a mature but sweet voice, Curtis opens her CD with the title cut, in which she speaks of past heartaches and spoiled plans, only to end up by saying it was all worth it because it led her to her current love. Other songs touch on teen years of jumping into creeks and chewing bubblegum ("Are You Ready to Fly"), or finding happiness in having two little girls ("The Princess and the Mermaid"), or just, well, singing ("Sing.")
Her cover of Death Cab for Cutie's "Soul Meets Body" is one of the best things on the CD. Backed with some meaty bass and percussion, courtesy of Alison Prestwood and Shannon Forrest, respectively, it offers a nice deviation from the adult contemporary fare that makes up the bulk of Sweet Life.
Then, of course, there is the appropriately titled "Happy." Curtis sings, "Come on, come on let yourself be happy/Come on, come on the world can get you down/Take the weight off of your shoulders/I'll show you how." Sugary, blatant lyrics such as these explain why Curtis is not considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time. But, hey, she's not going to let a little thing like that get her down.