Picks and Pans Review: It's All Relative

updated 09/09/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/09/2002 01:00AM

Pam Tillis (Epic/Lucky Dog)

Tillis has never sounded better than she does here, on her eighth album. Maybe she gets a warm feeling from the idea of paying this loving tribute to her father, country great Mel Tillis, 70. Or maybe, in covering 13 of her dad's songs, she just has some great material to work with. Pam, not previously suspected of having a sense of humor, delivers a surprisingly witty rendition of "Unmitigated Gall": "So, all in all/ If the curtain should fall/ I hope it falls on you."

Often affected in her past work, she sounds genuinely emotional on "Heart Over Mind" and wistful on "Violet and a Rose," which features unmistakable guest vocals by Dolly Parton. Pam even gets a little bluesy on the jazz-tinged "Emotions," while Mel himself chimes in on the duet "Not Like It Was with You." Mel also joins his daughter, four of his other children and four of his grandchildren on "Come On and Sing," a Sesame Street-ready tune that is perfect for the next family sing-along.

Bottom Line: Does Dad proud

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