Of all the juggernauts rolling off Nashville's assembly line, Yearwood's midseason breakthrough hit held a certain grandeur. After the cool assurance of her voice settled in, the material emerged, and besides challenging conventional country in every way, it turned Yearwood into the kind of star Nashville could never invent. The ground has been laid for crossover stuff like “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” by everyone from Rosanne Cash to The Mavericks, but Yearwood brings a fragility to the concept that makes even her tough poses sound that much braver. And when you have the good sense to cover Steve Goodman (“A Lover Is Forever”) and make him sound like the perennial he is, you're pointing country in the right direction.
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