Alison Krauss

Forget About It – 1999 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Alison Krauss

She began as a child fiddle prodigy, but Alison Krauss has achieved her greatest success as a vocalist. She's a country star who doesn't get played on country radio and a bluegrass star who isn't really playing bluegrass anymore. Despite the prominence of dobro and mandolin here, it's obvious that Krauss is a pop star more than anything else. She's credited with playing "strings" on way more tracks than she's credited with fiddle. Three songs were written in part by popster Michael McDonald and one by Todd Rundgren.

Debating categories is not really meaningful, of course. The most important thing is that - despite the presence of such high-quality musicians as Krauss herself, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush and others - this album seems almost purely a showcase for Krauss'voice. Some people will rejoice at that. However, if this album is ever made into a movie, it will be called either "Slow and Slower" or "Quiet and Quieter." Rock albums sometimes say "play loud for maximum enjoyment." Krauss' album has to be played loud just to be heard. Listeners in the right mood will love it, but others may be bored silly.