Trisha Yearwood (MCA Nashville)
If she were a fighter pilot or maybe a baseball shortstop, Yearwood might be beginning to worry about advancing age, but 36 is prime time for a country singer. Here she sounds like she is reveling in the years. She certainly knows how to share the microphone; she duets with Don Henley on the title tune and joins Rosanne Cash on Cash's jaunty hit "Seven Year Ache." In neither case does Yearwood have to worry about being upstaged by her singing partner. On tunes like "Love Alone" and "I Would've Loved You Anyway," the twang in her fit-for-honky-tonkin' vocals is nearly drowned by strings. But Yearwood confidently tackles the bluesy tone of "Melancholy Blue" without sounding out of her genre—or depth. And she is especially affecting on the shrewd "I Don't Paint Myself into Corners" and Matraca Berg's "For a While," in which she imagines, "I look like Julia Roberts
/ And you're just the poor jerk that I walk on by."
Bottom Line: Amazing grace