Alison Krauss & Union Station

So Long So Wrong

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After mainstream success happened for Alison Krauss & Union Station, one would have rightly expected a commercial sweetening of their sound, resulting in diminishing (or even abandoning) the simple but very unique thing that brought them into the public eye -- and eventual public acclaim -- in the first place. But the group's first new recording in the wake of the surprise success of Now That I've Found You: A Collection finds Alison Krauss & Union Station happily keeping their eclectic focus firmly on the prize stretched before them with no silly attempts to court the hat-hunk-of-the-month or the boot-scoot-boogie crowd. Despite the media's singling out of Krauss as country's new bluegrass solo diva, Union Station (with Krauss as simply a featured member of it) remains very much a group, and that's the real refreshing news here. It is that collective spirit that remains the reoccurring theme and the resounding musical point being made here, and it is the solid anchor that roots this album into place from beginning to end. Krauss' expert evocative way with a ballad is on full display here, with "Deeper Than Crying" and "It Doesn't Matter" featuring her on violas, adding a new voice to Union Station's sound. But the lead vocals are passed around among Krauss, mandolinist Adam Steffey, guitarist Dan Tyminski, and banjoist Ron Block, while Krauss' fiddle work in a backup capacity is an integral part of the sound as well. All in all, this is a totally un-gimmicky album that flies in the face of what usually happens when mainstream success comes calling. And, as a result of that commitment to quality and musical focus, one that makes you want to play it again when it's all over.

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