Lee Ann Womack's seventh album Call Me Crazy is her most impressive outing to date in a career full of great music. Lee Ann's youthful desire to sing was fulfilled and the lessons she learned from Tammy, George and other Country icons who captivated her as a child come through loud and clear on Call Me Crazy, Simply put, the collection of songs, the exquisite production and the sheer artistry of Lee Ann's straight-from-the-heart vocals, whether powerful, vulnerable, achingly sad or joyful, combine to make this one stunning album.
Few singers express emotional depth with such vocal subtlety as Lee Ann Womack. On Call Me Crazy
she brings a light touch to material that explores the dark recesses of musical maturity. Lesser artists, or bigger show-offs, might try to wring every ounce out of pathos from the empty marriage referenced in "Either Way," yet Womack's beyond-caring diffidence strikes the perfect emotional chord. In similar fashion, her bittersweet evocation of "Solitary Thinkin'" ("and lonesome drinkin'") is barroom blues from a woman who still has plenty of self-respect. She makes even the power-ballad cliches of the comparatively upbeat "I Found It in You" sound sincere, while the genial duet with George Strait on "Everything But Quits" forges a connection that never seems forced. "If These Walls Could Talk," co-written by Womack, practically begs for George and Tammy comparisons, and her hard-twanging cover of Jim Lauderdale's "The King of Broken Hearts" reinforces her honky-tonk side. So does "I Think I Know," a moving elegy for Keith Whitley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and anyone who has ever died from an emptiness that cannot be filled. The production by Tony Brown balances neo-trad with radio friendly, as Womack never sings a false note. --Don McLeese