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  • Monday, June 9, 2008
    Times (UK): Emmylou Harris Creates "Another Gem" on New Album (4 Stars)

    Today_show_logo_2 Emmylou Harris will celebrate tomorrow's release of All I Intended to Be, her first solo album since 2003's Stumble into Grace, with a performance on the Today show on NBC. The show airs from 7-11 AM ET. Visit msnbc.com for more information.

    The new album receives four stars in The Times (UK). Reviewer Victoria Segal praises Emmylou as being "not about musical bling or showbiz flash, just the softly burnished magic of a voice rich in experience and empathy." Segal continues:

    Harris is a folk heroine who choses the simple wooden box over the ornate jeweled one and is rewarded with untold riches for her humility. Her voice might be one of the best-traveled in music (a companion to everyone from Gram Parsons to Bob Dylan), yet 40 years into her career it retains a heartbreaking simplicity that cuts straight to the emotions.

    Quoting the title of an album track written by Tracy Chapman, the reviewer concludes, "If all that you have is your soul, on this evidence Harris is rich beyond measure."

    Read the full review at entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.

    ---

    The paper's Sunday edition gives the album four stars as well, with reviewer Mark Edwards placing the new work in the context of Emmylou's long career:

    [A]s well as combining sensitive interpretations of traditional country songs with a generous openness to new ideas and new writers for four decades, Harris has also secured herself a place in that select (nay, tiny) band of artists whose work 40 years down the line is the equal of the work that first made them famous. All I Intended to Be is another gem.

    Edwards calls the song selection "impeccable" and asserts, "the voice remains haunting." That review can also be found at entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.

    ---

    Also from the UK, The Independent's Nick Coleman describes the album as "rather lovely, in that mournful, somehow ecstatic mode patented by Harris as long ago as her friendship with Gram Parsons." Coleman finds the album's solemnity radiates "like sepulchral light from a woman who has become a national treasure." To read his review, visit independent.co.uk.

    ---

    The New York Times's Nate Chinen points to Emmylou's successful ability to mix carefully chosen works by other songwriters along with her own self-penned tunes, writing that she "has always embraced the urge to excavate" and finding also that, "shaping her own music, she can be graceful and evocative." Chinen says that the new album "urges introspection, musically as well as lyrically," and its song selection points to "her quiet but steely confidence as a singer, which is still extremely well placed." Read the review at nytimes.com.

    ---

    Reviewing the album for the Associated Press, Michael McCall says that Emmylou "has often enjoyed observing the present through a filter that takes in the past. She sharpens that focus on All I Intended to Be."

    McCall points to "How She Could Sing the Wildwood Flower," one of two co-writing collaborations on the record between Emmylou and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as "perhaps the best of all the June Carter and Johnny Cash tribute songs of late" and calls Emmylou's self-penned tune "Not Enough" "achingly beautiful."

    Returning to the notion of the album's references to the best elements from throughout her career, he concludes: "As usual, she blends tradition and innovation with estimable grace."

    Read the review in the San Francisco Chronicle at sfgate.com.

    ---

    The Detroit Free Press gives the album a perfect four stars, with reviewer Martin Bandyke writing: "Few vocalists possess the gravity and grace of Emmylou Harris, who is in magnificent form on All I Intended to Be." He too praises Emmylou's song selection, saying that she "has put together an impressively cohesive set of songs." Bandyke continues:

    Harris is a specialist in songs that will tear your heart out and make you cry a river, but she never does this in a cheap or facile way ... [H]er crystal-clear voice contains so many subtle, expressive layers that shouting isn't necessary.

    Read the review at freep.com.

    ---

    The new album gets another four-star review, from Slant magazine, whose Jonathan Keefe finds Emmylou at a career high point, with her two previous Nonesuch releases, Stumble into Grace and her 2000 label debut, the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl, emitting "the same stellar quality as early albums like Elite Hotel and Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town from her first artistic peak." On All I Intended to Be, Keefe says she "has come up with a record that combines many of the best aspects of both her classic and recent output." He continues:

    Harris has built her reputation on being one of popular music's finest interpretive singers, but her last few albums have found her further developing her skills as a songwriter ... As is the case with all of Harris's albums, though, it's her incomparable voice that makes her music so compelling ... Harris's sense of phrasing remains peerless.

    In the end, Keefe writes, "From her choices of collaborators and material to her extraordinary singing, Intended proves that Harris's greatest gift is her dead-on instincts."

    To read the complete review, visit slantmagazine.com.

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Times (UK): Emmylou Harris Creates "Another Gem" on New Album (4 Stars)

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on June 29, 2008 - 11:51pm
Article Type: 
Publish date: 
Monday, June 9, 2008 - 15:30
Excerpt: 

Emmylou Harris will celebrate tomorrow's release of All I Intended to Be, her first solo album since 2003's Stumble into Grace, with a performance on the Today show on NBC. The show airs from 7-11 AM ET. Visit msnbc.com for more information.

The new album receives four stars in The Times (UK). Reviewer Victoria Segal praises Emmylou as being "not about musical bling or showbiz flash, just the softly burnished magic of a voice rich in experience and empathy."

Copy: 

Today_show_logo_2 Emmylou Harris will celebrate tomorrow's release of All I Intended to Be, her first solo album since 2003's Stumble into Grace, with a performance on the Today show on NBC. The show airs from 7-11 AM ET. Visit msnbc.com for more information.

The new album receives four stars in The Times (UK). Reviewer Victoria Segal praises Emmylou as being "not about musical bling or showbiz flash, just the softly burnished magic of a voice rich in experience and empathy." Segal continues:

Harris is a folk heroine who choses the simple wooden box over the ornate jeweled one and is rewarded with untold riches for her humility. Her voice might be one of the best-traveled in music (a companion to everyone from Gram Parsons to Bob Dylan), yet 40 years into her career it retains a heartbreaking simplicity that cuts straight to the emotions.

Quoting the title of an album track written by Tracy Chapman, the reviewer concludes, "If all that you have is your soul, on this evidence Harris is rich beyond measure."

Read the full review at entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.

---

The paper's Sunday edition gives the album four stars as well, with reviewer Mark Edwards placing the new work in the context of Emmylou's long career:

[A]s well as combining sensitive interpretations of traditional country songs with a generous openness to new ideas and new writers for four decades, Harris has also secured herself a place in that select (nay, tiny) band of artists whose work 40 years down the line is the equal of the work that first made them famous. All I Intended to Be is another gem.

Edwards calls the song selection "impeccable" and asserts, "the voice remains haunting." That review can also be found at entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.

---

Also from the UK, The Independent's Nick Coleman describes the album as "rather lovely, in that mournful, somehow ecstatic mode patented by Harris as long ago as her friendship with Gram Parsons." Coleman finds the album's solemnity radiates "like sepulchral light from a woman who has become a national treasure." To read his review, visit independent.co.uk.

---

The New York Times's Nate Chinen points to Emmylou's successful ability to mix carefully chosen works by other songwriters along with her own self-penned tunes, writing that she "has always embraced the urge to excavate" and finding also that, "shaping her own music, she can be graceful and evocative." Chinen says that the new album "urges introspection, musically as well as lyrically," and its song selection points to "her quiet but steely confidence as a singer, which is still extremely well placed." Read the review at nytimes.com.

---

Reviewing the album for the Associated Press, Michael McCall says that Emmylou "has often enjoyed observing the present through a filter that takes in the past. She sharpens that focus on All I Intended to Be."

McCall points to "How She Could Sing the Wildwood Flower," one of two co-writing collaborations on the record between Emmylou and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as "perhaps the best of all the June Carter and Johnny Cash tribute songs of late" and calls Emmylou's self-penned tune "Not Enough" "achingly beautiful."

Returning to the notion of the album's references to the best elements from throughout her career, he concludes: "As usual, she blends tradition and innovation with estimable grace."

Read the review in the San Francisco Chronicle at sfgate.com.

---

The Detroit Free Press gives the album a perfect four stars, with reviewer Martin Bandyke writing: "Few vocalists possess the gravity and grace of Emmylou Harris, who is in magnificent form on All I Intended to Be." He too praises Emmylou's song selection, saying that she "has put together an impressively cohesive set of songs." Bandyke continues:

Harris is a specialist in songs that will tear your heart out and make you cry a river, but she never does this in a cheap or facile way ... [H]er crystal-clear voice contains so many subtle, expressive layers that shouting isn't necessary.

Read the review at freep.com.

---

The new album gets another four-star review, from Slant magazine, whose Jonathan Keefe finds Emmylou at a career high point, with her two previous Nonesuch releases, Stumble into Grace and her 2000 label debut, the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl, emitting "the same stellar quality as early albums like Elite Hotel and Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town from her first artistic peak." On All I Intended to Be, Keefe says she "has come up with a record that combines many of the best aspects of both her classic and recent output." He continues:

Harris has built her reputation on being one of popular music's finest interpretive singers, but her last few albums have found her further developing her skills as a songwriter ... As is the case with all of Harris's albums, though, it's her incomparable voice that makes her music so compelling ... Harris's sense of phrasing remains peerless.

In the end, Keefe writes, "From her choices of collaborators and material to her extraordinary singing, Intended proves that Harris's greatest gift is her dead-on instincts."

To read the complete review, visit slantmagazine.com.

featuredimage: 
Emmylou Harris: All I Intended to Be [cover]

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