Emmylou Harris

Wrecking Ball

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Wrecking Ball is a leftfield masterpiece, the most wide-ranging, innovative, and daring record in a career built on such notions. Rich in atmosphere and haunting in its dark complexity, much of the due credit belongs to producer Daniel Lanois; best known for his work with pop superstars like U2 and Peter Gabriel, on Wrecking Ball Lanois taps into the very essence of what makes Harris tick -- the gossamer vocals, the flawless phrasing -- while also opening up innumerable new avenues for her talents to explore. The songs shimmer and swirl, given life through Lanois' trademark ringing guitar textures and the almost primal drumming of U2's Larry Mullen, Jr. The fixed point remains Harris' voice, which leaps into each and every one of these diverse compositions -- culled from the pens of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, and others -- with utter fearlessness, as if this were the album she'd been waiting her entire life to make. Maybe it is.

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