Music Reviews

Album Review: Emmylou Harris – ‘All I Intended to Be’

By Jeff Swindoll Jun 10, 2008, 20:17 GMT

Album Review: Emmylou Harris – ‘All I Intended to Be’

On her second Nonesuch disc, Emmylou Harris assembles an extraordinary cast of veteran musicians and fellow singers, all of them longtime friends, for a set that indeed showcases this Nashville icon, and 2008 CMA Hall of Fame inductee, as all she has intended to be - a singularly expressive vocalist, a brilliant interpreter of other people\'s songs, a graceful and confident songwriter. In particular, the album displays Harris\'s ability to ...more

With 1995’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ Emmylou Harris seemed to be going away from traditional country music.  She now comes full circle with ‘All I Intended to Be,’ her first in five years, and revisits that country and folk sound that propelled her to stardom. 

Harris’ signature voice still sounds fantastic, no matter what musical genre she decides to explore.  Harris even joins with her frequent collaborator Dolly Parton, who provides backing vocals on “Gold,” as well as writing several of the songs. 

She does cover some other artist’s work, such as Merle Haggard’s “Kern River” Tracey Chapman’s “All That you Have is Your Soul,” and Patty Griffin’s “Moon Song.”  Billy Joel Shaver’s “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” is a duet with John Starling. 

The one song that I greatly enjoyed was “How She Could Sing the Wildwood Flower” which is a new song but harkens back to that country classic (that reminds me of June Carter Cash’s album of several years ago, never a bad thing). 

The songs are both haunting and touching and are heightened by Harris’ solid vocals.  It’s a stupendous album and one that I know I’ll be listening to again and again. 

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