Heartaches & Highways: The Very Best of Emmylou Harris

Heartaches & Highways: The Very Best of Emmylou Harris

Since Emmylou Harris has never been talked into recording an album that didn’t reflect her own high standards for songwriting and has never worked with musicians who didn’t at least understand what they were supposed to do, Harris has never recorded an album that rings false. As an artist who has never cared so much for hit singles as for working on a project that meant something to her, Harris comes up with some unusual and sublime moments. This “Best Of” touches on some of her more traditional fare, the material she learned alongside country-rock legend Gram Parsons. No one can inject more pathos into “Love Hurts” (her duet with Parsons), the Louvin Brothers’ “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” Buck Owens’ “Together Again” or Townes Van Zandt’s tale of “Pancho & Lefty.” Her own tribute to Parsons on “Boulder to Birmingham” sounds lonelier as the years pass. Even the album’s new, unproven cut, “The Connection” sounds like it belongs on a “Greatest Hits” collection.

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