White Shoes

White Shoes

Later in her career it would become even clearer that Emmylou Harris does not feel comfortable settling into any one genre. She wishes to sing the songs that inspire her to sing. If that song happens to be Donna Summer’s “On the Radio,” then so be it. One of her favorite songwriters, Rodney Crowell, contributes the rockabilly shuffle of  “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and the near hard rock of “Baby, Better Start Turnin’ ‘Em Down” and her longtime producer and husband Brian Ahern handles his final production, which leans towards pop as often as it nods towards country. The instrumentation is almost beside the point even when it sounds like Harris is heading for the dance floor on the title track. As always, the emphasis is on “the voice” and Harris doesn’t disappoint. Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love” aches with its inescapable sorrow. “In My Dreams” bops with a gorgeous echo on Harris’ shimmering vocal and her ability to make a word break with compassion. Harris is always up for a challenge and a surprise.

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