Trisha Yearwood

Prizefighter: Hit After Hit

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Trisha Yearwood's career slowed down not long after her husband Garth Brooks entered retirement in 2001. Two albums followed in the 2000s, 2005's Jasper County and 2007's Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, but the upper reaches of the country charts eluded her ("Georgia Rain" peaked at 15 in 2005, the title track from Heaven went to 19 in 2007), and then she took a prolonged break between 2007 and 2014, returning with the collection Prizefighter: Hit After Hit the same month as Brooks mounted his comeback with Man Against Machine. Comparatively, Yearwood's return to action wasn't as splashy: she showcased her six new songs, highlighted by the Kelly Clarkson duet "Prizefighter," next to ten of her standards. Yearwood has had more than ten hits -- and she's also had no fewer than five compilations -- but the hits here are well chosen ("She's in Love with the Boy," "How Do I Live," "Wrong Side of Memphis, and "The Song Remembers When" are all here), and the new songs are solid enough to raise the question of why she didn't go all the way and craft a brand-new album. Nevertheless, Prizefighter: Hit After Hit winds up as an effective reminder of Yearwood's strengths.

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