It took a broken marriage for Patty Griffin to seriously consider a life as a professional singer/songwriter, and it's in the dark moments of the soul that her strongest, most affecting work has sprung. Better known by other performers' covers of her songs—sung by Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, among others—Griffin has no problem delivering her own goods. Impossible Dream is the Boston-based artist's fourth solo album, and it contains some of her most devastating songs to date. "Useless Desires" works off reflective disappointment, where the lonely woman in question shuttles herself to work by train and self-meditates with pills that "help me not to wonder how I ended up like this." "Florida" follows two young women trying to escape their dead-end lives, only to settle in a resort area where everyone leaves at the end of the summer season. In these moments, Griffin finds empathy and a beauty that sparkles as her voice takes the desperate situations and make them seem heroic—if only for a few fleeting minutes of pleasure.