Linda Ronstadt's 1995 album, Feels Like Home, was a return to her country-rock roots, resulting in an album much more "down-home" and less glossy than her previous pop albums, Winter Light and Cry Like the Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind. Less glossy production isn't necessarily a bad thing, except that the final result is an album that is top-quality but a little bland. Ronstadt's voice is nothing short of stellar, and the songs are fine, but there is a certain immediacy that is lacking in this album, especially toward the end, when it just seems to drift. Then again, with a "down-home" album, that may have been the point. Regardless, this album boasts her usual array of stellar covers, including her fine, mandolin-accompanied take on Tom Petty's "The Waiting," in which Ronstadt's enunciations are highly reminiscent of Petty's. Her rendition of Matraca Berg's "Walk On," complete with Alison Krauss on fiddle, is nothing short of an out-and-out hoedown, and her version of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" is quite enjoyable. Five of these songs -- "High Sierra," "The Blue Train" (the album's first single, which is pure AC), "Feels Like Home," "After the Gold Rush," and "Lover's Return," most of which feature Emmylou Harris -- all resurfaced on the Trio II album. Just like any other Ronstadt set, this is top-quality material, but one can't help but pine for the punch and perfect production of her previous pop packages.
AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis