While many might not enjoy modern country music, with a glowing endorsement from Elvis Costello, Carlene Carter’s new album definitely deserves a considered listening. Within the first four tracks, the album moves effortlessly from classic country (“Bitter End,” “Bring Love”) through sultry jazz (“Why Be Blue”) to campfire-style crooning (“To Change Your Heart”). There’s enough material here to keep fans of Hank Williams, her Carter Family heritage, and Keith Urban happy. On the title track, Carter repeats the phrase, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” (a dedication to her baby sister Rosey Carter) with such heartfelt delivery it’s hard not to feel her pain. Stronger showcases modern country music at its best; with fewer feathers, bows, and big hair, and more great songs, heartfelt performances, and real emotion.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
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