CD Review of Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love by Trisha Yearwood
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Label
Big Machine
Trisha Yearwood:
Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love

Reviewed by R. David Smola

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T
his is damn near a perfect album. Trisha Yearwood, who has a powerful tugboat in her throat, sings these wonderfully constructed songs with precision and emotion, blasting out powerfully when needed and dialing it down when necessary. Legendary producer Garth Fundis expertly crafts arrangements around her voice that compliment either the elegance or power of her delivery. It’s a country album featuring elements of gospel and a sprinkling of blues for good measure. Heaven is an idyllic convergence of material, execution and production.

Yearwood has a way of convincing the listener that every song, no matter the writer or subject matter, is autobiographical. Every four-minute journey through love, faith and family is genuine. When she sings about her grandfather’s farming, her grandmother’s singing and the sun rolling down in the Midwest sky in “The Dreaming Fields,” she places herself in that character, and her vocals convince you that this was her life experience. There is exasperation in her voice in the beautiful “Let the Wind Chase You,” as she finally ends a difficult relationship with her lover. Keith Urban wraps his voice underneath hers flawlessly as piano and strings pilot the beautiful ballad. Yearwood lets down her hair and has a little fun in the title cut, a joyous slice of honky tonk with some searing fiddle, B3 organ and pedal steel. “Nothin’ About You Is Good for Me” is a great kiss-off song in which you can hear the fun flowing out of your speakers. “Cowboys Are My Weakness” is a cute little number that features some delicious harmonizing with Karyn Rochelle on the chorus over some fancy fiddlin’. 

Fundis lets the musicians shine in spots and turns up the strings to create that large soundscape, but lets her voice take front and center most of the time. The vocal production is pristine and every word and note is completely clear. There is no need, nor is it possible, to bury her voice in the mix, and thank God for that. Mrs. Garth Brooks may have made the best record of her career.

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