Hindsight being 20/20, when Trisha Yearwood's eponymous debut was issued in 1991, it was obvious a star had been born. From the choice of players, to Garth Fundis' snappy crisp production, to the songs written by the cream of the crop of Nashville's new generation -- including a pair by Garth Brooks, Pat McLaughlin, Carl Jackson, and one by Kostas and Hal Ketchum. What set Yearwood apart is her enormous voice; coming from Georgia, there is no lilt in it -- she can go from a whisper to a full-throated wail in a second, and her pitch is spot on every time. Fundis and MCA chose the kinds of songs Yearwood sings better than almost any of her peers -- working-class love songs, from the opener, the simple mid-tempo rocker "She's in Love With the Boy," to the ballads such as "Like We Had a Broken Heart," written by Brooks with Pat Alger. Brooks sings backup here, and the pace of the song is slow. Its poetry is in the emotion her voice conveys rather than the lyrics, which aren't bad; they just aren't special. But it's "Fools Like Me" (by Kostas and Ketchum), where Yearwood lets every bit of what's inside of her out. A slow rocker with a Hammond B-3 swirling gently in the background played by Al Kooper, this is the broken love song at its best. When Yearwood sings, "You go your way baby, and I'll go mine/I'll go crazy like the wind," the entire track just comes apart before she reaches the end of the verse. The vision of a goodbye said in some motel parking lot or suburban driveway is almost unbearable. Yearwood was the first female country singer of her generation that didn't try to be a sex symbol, and she didn't try to project anything other than the fact that she was a good singer. And she was and is a fine singer, and this is a very classy debut that stands the test of time.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek