Unfortunately, some of the album's low points will also induce some serious eye rolls, especially Harris' lyrics on "Higher Mountains," which are saddled with clichés about valleys, peaks and great divides that the veteran songstress' trademark lilting vocals can't transcend, despite her admirable efforts. She sounds much better on "Bring It On Home To Memphis," which not only features her glorious high notes, but also an astoundingly effective spoken word breakdown in which she practically raps about lazy rivers, mystery trains and barflies that "made light of the hot summer breeze." Crowell also has his share of winning lines, on songs like "If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now," in which he belts out unabashedly bitter tidbits like: "I don't wonder where you are, I don't even care… You're not my cross to bear."
Those highlights make up for the brief, but brutal, moments of derivative fare, proving that Harris and Crowell can bring the best out in each other. Let's hope this is only the beginning of their spirited partnership. (Nonesuch)