October 28, 2002 12:00 PM

Tanya Tucker (Tuckertime/Capitol)

Aging gracefully isn’t the easiest thing to do for an entertainer. At 44, though, Tucker is more than coping—she is thriving. The country veteran, who had her first hit, “Delta Dawn,” when she was just 13, sings with a knowing maturity befitting her station on her first new studio album in five years. Tucker sounds both older and wiser on such tunes as “Shoulda Thought About That” and “Old Weakness Comin’ On Strong,” although the latter has a bluesy rock feel that would have suited Mick Jagger in his prime. Her fiancé, Jerry Lassiter, coproduced the disc and cowrote seven of its 12 songs, which explains why the material is so well-matched to Tucker.

Bottom Line: She’s far from Tuckered out

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