There is an exact blend of country and pop that went into the classic albums by this enchanting country songstress. Anyone capable of reproducing this formula would be followed everywhere by country artists and pop stars. Unfortunately, what actually happened in the era of this music's first wave of popularity was that everyone cooked up an individual recipe. And many of these productions had as much good taste as spaghetti sauce does after someone stirs in the burned bits from the bottom of the pan. Producer Owen Bradley's approach to Patsy Cline does have its moments of bad taste as well, and even the biggest fans of these albums will have moments when they will wish the male vocal chorus had gotten caught in traffic somewhere in the pretzel of Nashville's freeway system. Air and forget these complaints, because what is here is a rare type of country music that maintains its identity without marching forward with the usual troops of pedal steel and twangy guitars. The combo sound that is created has an incredibly light swing -- the drummer is often using brushes -- and there is an effortless sense of propulsion through rhythm arrangements both catchy and intelligent. What she and the musicians do with the numbers by Hank Williams is nothing short of a revelation, while the ballads such as "Lonely Street" are done with a moody flair that has never quite been matched.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne