Wendy Waldman

Letters Home

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Another album, another record company. Such were Wendy Waldman's fortunes at the time of Letters Home, although she was enjoying a remarkable resurgence as a Nashville songwriter and producer for hire. Mining a similar guitar-rock vein to Which Way to Main Street, Letters Home managed to avoid that record's bludgeoning, over-egged quality. The aggressive, gung-ho arrangements of "Living in Hard Times" and "The Longest Summer" actually work with the artist, not against her. Overall, it's hard not to admire this album's bruised but still fighting spirit, most clearly evoked on The Renegade Side: "Some were born to carry/Some were born to ride/I always knew/That I was born/To walk on the renegade side."

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