Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why

First track to last, this album is a genre-busting, heart-stirring triumph. Wynonna’s voice smolders and soars as the tunes demand, shifting from diva-like authority to down-home sweetness with effortless control. The rockers grab your attention immediately, with the anguished yet uplifting title song and the playfully assertive “Girls With Guitars” standing out from the pack. Steamy Memphis-style numbers like “Rock Bottom” and “Let’s Make a Baby King” jump out as well. But even the more subdued tracks like the lightly soulful “Father Sun” and the billowy, melodically subtle “Only Love” leave a lasting impression. Between the vulnerability of “Is It Over Yet” and the defiance of “That Was Yesterday” (written by mother Naomi), Wynonna displays both earthy power and sophisticated skill. Much credit is due Tony Brown, who freely combines old-school R&B with L.A.-style country-rock in his production. Tell Me Why remains a landmark album, a boldly confident statement by an artist aiming high.

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