Building upon her bluegrass roots, and using her unerring knack for identifying great songs, Alison Krauss has created a branch of popular music all her own. On this album, the pure emotion of her voice and her exquisite acoustic arrangements reach new heights.
When you possess a great pop voice, it's inevitable that you'll someday make a pop album, and Alison Krauss has finally made hers. Instead of bidding for radio airplay with the extravagant, extroverted pop of Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, or Celine Dion, Krauss has crafted an intimate, understated chamber-pop album reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's Blue
or Rosanne Cash's Interiors
. The material comes from such mainstream-pop writers as Michael McDonald, Todd Rundgren, Allen Reynolds, and Danny O'Keefe, but Krauss the producer gives the songs a distinctive spin. She layers the harmonies of her regular Union Station band, the Cox Family singers, pianist Matt Rollings, drummer Jim Keltner, and mandolinist Sam Bush to create a lush, hushed sound that's neither traditional bluegrass nor electric country-pop. Krauss multi-tracks her own fiddle parts and blends them with Jerry Douglas's Dobro to create an unorthodox string-quartet sound. In this setting her tender, translucent vocals capture that moment when a relationship is unravelling before the lovers are ready to let it go. --Geoffrey Himes