Trisha Yearwood

Real Live Woman

  • MCA

Country superstars like Shania Twain and Faith Hill seem to get more bombastic with each new album, but Trisha Yearwood is staying true to her roots.

The appropriately titled Real Live Woman marks another superb effort, thanks to a sturdy batch of songs, straight-ahead production and Yearwood's typically impeccable vocal styling. She sets the tone right from the start on the Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kim Richey-penned "Where Are You Now," and takes some unexpected but delightful turns along the rest of the way. With harmonies from Jackson Browne, she quite frankly does Bruce Springsteen's "Sad Eyes," far better than The Boss, and absolutely soars on a gospel-styled version of Linda Ronstadt's "Try Me Again."

Those cuts and others like the southern fried "One Love" (one of two selections co-written by ex-NRBQ great Al Anderson) and the quieter, dobro-tinged "Some Days," exemplify how Yearwood has managed to maintain her superstar status without selling out. She's the real class of country.

Kevin O'Hare