Picks and Pans Review: Martina Mcbride

updated 10/24/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Timeless
CRITIC'S CHOICE

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Great songs elegantly sung: This is what pop music is supposed to be, and this superb album lives up to the description. By recording these country classics, McBride displays a great sense of history as well as humility. Everyone will find a favorite or two missing. No Willie Nelson songs. No Kitty Wells. Nothing associated with Emmylou Harris. But McBride will also strike many happy chords among fans of Hank Williams ("You Win Again"), Ray Charles ("I Can't Stop Loving You"), Kris Kristofferson ("Help Me Make It Through the Night"), Merle Haggard ("Today I Started Loving You Again") and even Buddy Holly ("True Love Ways"). And while there are no Dolly Parton songs, Parton shows up to harmonize on a poignant version of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone." Admirably, McBride sings these tunes faithfully, relying on a corps of artful backup musicians, including fiddler Stuart Duncan, steel guitarist Paul Franklin and keyboardist Gordon Mote. She may not be the first to discover these Timeless gems, but McBride sure does an excellent job of keeping them alive.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "I Can't Stop Loving You"

COUNTRY

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