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Recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry House in spring 2005, this double-disc set is in essence the companion to Wynonna's new autobiography, Coming Home to Myself
, in that it canvasses her 20 years of recording, both as half of the Judds and on her own. While only the most rabid Judds fans will quibble about the absence of mother Naomi (other harmonizers take up the slack), some of the more important Judds hits (e.g., "Why Not Me") go missing in favor of obscure offerings or covers. As always in concert, Wynonna's impassioned vocals are so robust and powerful as to seem a force of nature (take cover, Three Little Pigs!), and she can imbue a sentimental song like Dave Loggins's "She Is His Only Need" with enough grit and gravity to make it dig deep down in the bones. Unfortunately, she infuses her between-song prattle with history lessons on her musical journey, which wear thin on repeated listenings, despite some deeply vulnerable confessions and good-natured humor. ("I'm trying to get back to my original weight: 8 pounds, 15 ounces.") She also fails to capture the frenetic randiness of Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One," and though a serious student of Elvis, her excursions into Presleyana ("Burnin' Love," "Sometimes I Feel Like Elvis") seem more like parody than anything else. Worse, the bonus studio track, "Attitude," just sort of floats on by. On the upside, several songs rock harder and bluesier here than in their original versions, especially Mama Judd's blistering "That Was Yesterday," and "No One Else on Earth," which pushes its Bonnie Raitt-ish funk to the max. Bottom line: Mixed bag of material, but Wy's Ferrari of a voice will keep you glued to the speakers throughout. -Alanna Nash