Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (Asylum)

Harmonizing like a twang and a tear, these two Nashville outsiders (who first teamed with Dolly Parton on the 1987 hit Trio) reunite here to locate the country heart of pop masterpieces by such non-Nashvillians as Leonard Cohen ("Sisters of Mercy") and Sinead O'Connor ("This Is to Mother You"). Sweet surprises come from the pens of Patti Scialfa ("Valerie") and her husband, Bruce Springsteen ("Across the Border"), as well as Harris's own collaboration with Luscious Jackson's Jill Cunniff ("Sweet Spot"). Throughout, Ronstadt's earthy lead blends with Harris's airy soprano to heavenly effect.

Bottom Line: Tender, mournful and winning

  • Contributors:
  • Amy Linden,
  • Steve Dougherty,
  • Alec Foege.