All I Intended to Be (Nonesuch)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., June 27, 2008
Emmylou HarrisAll I Intended to Be (Nonesuch)
Emmylou Harris goes down like fine wine, more elegant and potent with each passing year. Harris' first solo album in five years reveals the 2008 Country Music Hall of Famer lingering poignantly retrospective with longing and resolve. Reuniting with original producer Brian Ahern contributes to reflective covers of Merle Haggard's "Kern River" and Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," as well as contemporary cuts like Patty Griffin's "Moon Song" and Tracy Chapman's "All That You Have Is Your Soul." Originals strike the strongest chords of loss, however, Harris' twang subtle on "Broken Man's Lament," rasping delicate though "Not Enough," and trembling into the McGarrigle sisters' harmonies on "How She Could Sing the Wildwood Flower." Dolly Parton and Vince Gill shimmer alongside on "Gold," while "Take That Ride" and "Sailing Round the Room" shudder free the mortal coil. Transcendent.