Voices like Trisha Yearwood’s don’t come along very often—in country or any other kind of music. Her straightforward style has struck a responsive chord that stretches across musical boundaries, due in part to the unself-conscious ease with which she glides from country to pop to folk.
Like her spiritual mentor, Linda Ronstadt, Yearwood, 29, simply stands there and belts them out, letting the tags fall where they may. On her splendid new release, The Song Remembers When, Yearwood’s vocals range from subdued folk (the introspective “Hard Promises to Keep”) to cocky rock (the boogying “If I Ain’t Got You”), to pop melodrama (the torch-carrying “Lying to the Moon”), and when she latches on to a great melody, such as Jude Johnstone’s stunning country ballad, “The Nightingale,” the results are riveting.
Throughout these performances, Yearwood intelligently shifts her perspective and maneuvers her voice to extract the essence from each song. Just three albums into her career, Yearwood seems to have already ensured that looking back years from now, the song will indeed remember when. (MCA)