2008 - All I Intended To Be
Not like the halcyon days. But, leaving aside Spyboy (1998), in which she was singing songs she'd sung before, I think this is Emmylou's best album since Wrecking Ball (1995), surpassing both of the last two, Red Dirt Girl (2000) by a country mile, and Stumble Into Grace (2003) by less than that but by some, all the same. The album has two outstanding songs and two others that are very good indeed; the whole is well worth having even if you aren't an Emmylou completist. Still, I can hear what I think is confirmation that the fears I expressed here are well-founded: the voice doesn't always have the power to sustain a note like it used to, and a certain breathiness does the filling in. The songs I nominate as top track and runner-up were both written by Emmylou together with Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Must I think of revising my hitherto not very warm opinion of the music of the McGarrigle sisters?