DISCOGRAPHY> Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball
1995 - Elektra
Produced by Daniel Lanois
1995 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album

Purchase

iTunes

Where Will I Be
Goodbye
All My Tears (Be Washed Away)
Wrecking Ball
Goin' Back To Harlan
Deeper Well
Every Grain Of Sand
Sweet Old World
May This Be Love
Orphan Girl
Blackhawk
Waltz Across Texas Tonight

Emmylou Harris's formula has been to match a crack crew of left-of-center country players with an assortment of tasteful tunes and head into the studio with a nonintrusive producer. Now and then (most notably the 1980 bluegrass collection Roses in the Snow), she tampers with her basic blueprint and comes up with something exceptional. Wrecking Ball is one of those. Daniel Lanois's radiant production no longer seems as fresh as it did on albums by U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan, but here its hum enfolds Harris like an electric blanket. Lanois's usual recruits, including U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and New Orleans regulars Malcolm Burn, Brian Blade, and Daryl Johnson, lay down a solid base for Harris's weary vocals and Lanois's buzzing guitar. At its core, Wrecking Ball seems almost too finely calculated. Hot producer plus sought-after songwriters plus venerated performer frequently totals to deadly bore. Here, however, all that calculation adds up to something. -- Steven Stolder