Album: Jasper County

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Album:

Jasper County

Artist: Trisha Yearwood
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Label: Mca Nashville

Four years after her last album, 2001’s Inside Out, Trisha Yearwood returns with a solid effort that reclaims her place on country radio, particularly with the evocative, bittersweet ballad “Georgia Rain,” on which her fiancé, Garth Brooks, contributes quiet harmony. Brooks isn’t the only notable guest on Jasper County—Ronnie Dunn drops by on “Try Me,” and Beth Nielsen Chapman (always one of Yearwood’s favorite tunesmiths) harmonizes on “Trying to Love You,” one of the album’s prettiest heartbreak songs. Yearwood varies her repertoire with such…

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Four years after her last album, 2001’s Inside Out, Trisha Yearwood returns with a solid effort that reclaims her place on country radio, particularly with the evocative, bittersweet ballad “Georgia Rain,” on which her fiancé, Garth Brooks, contributes quiet harmony. Brooks isn’t the only notable guest on Jasper County—Ronnie Dunn drops by on “Try Me,” and Beth Nielsen Chapman (always one of Yearwood’s favorite tunesmiths) harmonizes on “Trying to Love You,” one of the album’s prettiest heartbreak songs. Yearwood varies her repertoire with such loose and funky numbers as “Pistol” and “Sweet Love” (where she’s on the make in a dangerous blue dress) and the hypnotic song of swirling romantic obsession, “River of You.” But while never less than thoroughly enjoyable, the album somehow falls shy of her best work. Yearwood remains one of the genre’s finest interpretive singers, but this collection lacks a song that showcases the full range and power of her glorious soprano, and also falls short in delivering a ballad that brings her (and us) to her knees. It’s great to have the multi-Grammy winner back, but aside from “Georgia Rain,” most of Jasper County sounds closer to a bullpen warm-up than a home-run hit. —Alanna Nash

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