Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Breezy as a spring day, Carol Duboc’s vocal stylings skim along the surface of her romantic material. The 10 tracks on Smile, nine of which the Kansas City, Mo., native co-wrote with keyboardist /composer Jeff Lorber, deal with the challenges, frustrations and excitement of love.

Of particular interest is her emotional exposure of long-term relationship difficulties. The best example is “Unpredictable,” which pretends to celebrate the lack of routine inevitable in a relationship with someone who is, to put it politely, flighty (which is not nearly as much fun as it sounds).

The airy magic of flutist Hubert Laws contributes to three of the album’s jazzy sensibilities, which belie the occasional sadness of coping with love’s tough times. Hot tracks: Songs of romantic strife such as “Elephant” and songs of hope, including the title track.