Friday, May 09, 2008

Emmylou assessed

I've been looking around Norm's archives, and I've just seen this post that I missed at the time. It's a roundup of Emmylou Harris' back catalogue.

I'd broadly agree with most of Norm's judgements here, apart from to say that I remember liking Evangeline a bit more than Norm did at the time (alas, my copy went west a long time ago). He's right about Elite Hotel and Luxury Liner - both absolutely outstanding examples of how universal Country music can be in its appeal.

Here's the title track from Luxury Liner - an old Gram Parsons song that went through a number of incarnations prior to this (including a fantastic duet with Emmylou - I think, on the incomparable Return of the Grievious Angel, but I'll need to check that now).

And - good as it is - the Wrecking Ball album saw Emmylou re-inventing herself in a slightly contrived way. I never thought of her choice of songs as cynical before this album. Most of them are very good, but the migrant madonna nobility that is intended to shine out of her lyrics - courage and dignity in adversity - becomes too much of a recurring theme for my liking.

As I say, all good songs individually, but you feel like you're being hit over the head with it after a while.

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