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Trisha Yearwood

Jasper County – 2005 (MCA)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood has been out of circulation for four years, but reunited with original producer Garth Fundis, the singer ably shows she retains her formidable skills. First and foremost is her voice. Yearwood tends not to overuse it, though it remains a powerful instrument whether on the upbeat (the soulful, horn-laden "Gimme The Good Stuff") or ballads (the single "George Rain" with backing vocals from fianc+ Garth Brooks).

While on recent albums, Yearwood could have pleaded guilty to sounding too much like a diva, here she sounds more like the country singer she used to be. That's evident from the lead-off "Who Invented the Wheel" with acoustic guitar and intense, soulful vocals that toughen the sound of the song.

She mixes it up musically as well going for a bouncier sound on the '50s styled piano- and horn-laden "Pistol" and "It's Alright." Probably credit Fundis for keeping the music and singing grounded on the 11 songs.

Yearwood may have been out of the spotlight, but that has not affected her at all.