Album: Emmylou Harris, All I Intended to Be (Nonesuch)

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The Independent Culture

Emmylou's Daniel Lanois period is over. She's back in Nashville with Brian Ahern on the other side of the thickened glass, which means that an elegantly chiming country-rock sound replaces the arty false perspectives and cultivated grit of the Lanois vibe.

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It's rather lovely, in that mournful, somehow ecstatic mode patented by Harris as long ago as her friendship with Gram Parsons. And if the solemnity is a little insistent, then it is only doing its job, which is to radiate like sepulchral light from a woman who has become a national treasure. Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and the similarly sainted McGarrigle sisters are in the room too.

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