Most pop musicians in their 50s spend their stage time reflecting on past accomplishments. Emmylou Harris, on the other hand, is still moving forward, seeking new challenges and pushing into new musical territory. Always artistically restless, Harris has offered nearly a quarter century of interesting ideas. However, at age 51, she's creating some of the most lasting and moving music of her life. Fronting a band featuring the New Orleans rhythm section of drummer Brady Blade and bassist Darryl Johnson, and with alternative-country hero Buddy Miller on guitar, Harris presents daring music that is both dark in tone yet spiritually open-hearted. In doing so, she's managed to combine the progressive, provocative tension of 1996's Wrecking Ball
with the tradition-based music of her earlier work. --Michael McCall
Emmylou Harris has always zigged when the rest of the music world has zagged. But after doing country long before it was remotely cool, and then getting exiled by country radio along with virtually everyone else over 40, she seems more adept than ever at finding the seams between the formulas emanating from Nashville and the commercial no man's land, vaguely known as alternative country, outside the Nashville mainstream. -- The New York Times
Harris's cracked warble has often been imitated but, as her performance of the Nashville standard "Love Hurts" proves, rarely bettered. Elsewhere, there are renditions of songs from her last proper record, the sumptuously produced Wrecking Ball
, like the rambling "Deeper Well" and the elegiac "Boulder to Birmingham." Happily, there's no prospect of a hoedown or a linedance in sight. -- New Musical Express
... Harris reinvents a good part of her neotraditionalist past and brings a spiritual glow to everything she touches.
-- Rolling Stone