Picks and Pans Review: On Your Way Home

updated 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Patty Loveless
COUNTRY

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This is the way it's supposed to work: An artist tries applying her talent to various styles, chooses among them and creates a synthesis that is more than the sum of its parts. In Loveless's case she has blended her basic honky-tonk-angel style with her recent affection for blue-grass to produce a vivacious, splendid album. On this follow-up to 2001's Mountain Soul, the singer's bright, beautifully pitched voice floats airily over 11 artfully orchestrated songs, from the bluesy "Nothin' Like the Lonely" to the easy-tempoed title track to the bouncy "Lovin' All Night." The latter, one of this disc's highlights, is a Rodney Crowell tune that offers memorably sweet romantic lyrics: "Well, you tell me I'm as pretty as a fresh-cut flower/When you show me how you love me in the wee small hours/While everybody's sleepin' on around this town/Lovin' all night makes the world go 'round." With such apt choice of material, Loveless seems so comfortable that the album does suggest a sense of coming home.

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