Sing Chapter 1
A quarter century into her recording career, Wynonna reasserts herself as one of country music’s great song stylists on Sing Chapter 1. Producers Brent Maher and Don Potter have helped her fashion an album that sounds both challenging and completely appropriate to her natural style. Wynonna tackles an assortment of (mostly) vintage country, pop, and R&B tunes with palpable vigor and innate Southern elegance. She turns up the heat on “That’s How Rhythm Was Born” (a rollicking ‘30s-style girl group number), “I’m a Woman” (a funky feminist declaration), and “I Hear You Knocking” (the classic Smiley Lewis blues tune, spurred on by hot slide guitar). Even better is her brooding take on Hank Williams’ immortal “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and her heart-tugging reading of Burt Bacharach’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart.” She transforms the album’s title song (by Rodney Crowell) into a personal anthem. There are no false moves or flubbed opportunities here — Wynonna makes good on her ambition and turns Sing into a celebration of both America’s musical traditions and her own evergreen talent.