Lacking some of the focus that made her debut album so stunning, Hell Among the Yearlings is nevertheless a thoroughly satisfying second album from Gillian Welch. Instead of backing away from the rustic folkiness of Revival, Welch deepens her bleak, clear-eyed world view, which makes her spare, old-timey arrangements all the more powerful. On occasion, the performances and songs are a bit too studied to be truly effective, but those moments are fleeting -- Hell Among the Yearlings offers ample proof that Welch is a talented, individual songwriter and that her debut was no fluke.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Owens