Everybody Knows

Trisha Yearwood

MCA, 1996

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/30/2013

[Adapted from a review originally appearing in On The Town magazine on October 15, 1996]

I was a teenage singer-songwriter snob. Well, okay, I was in my thirties at the time, but the point is, being a fan of the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Mary Chapin Carpenter, I've often had a hard time mustering up any real respect for musical artists who don't write at least the majority of their own material. Life just loves to teach us lessons, doesn't it?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

My primary education in this particular area came in the form of singer-NOT-songwriter Trisha Yearwood, a country artist with a tremendous talent for finding great songs written by others and giving them her own considerable creative stamp. From her 1991 breakout hit, "She's in Love With the Boy," through 1995's terrific Thinkin' About You album (including a knockout cover of Melissa Etheridge's "You Can Sleep While I Drive"), she repeatedly showed her interpretive talent was plenty big without worrying about writing her own stuff.

Everybody Knows found Yearwood continuing to refine her highly melodic approach, drawing from the California country-rock and folk influences that brought her here even as the emotional palette of the songs she chooses expands to meet her tremendous vocal range. She's as sharp with a pointed barb ("Hello, I'm Gone") as she is gentle with a troubled friend/lover ("Little Hercules"), as formidable with a rallying cry ("I Want to Live Again") as she is vulnerable with an introspective ballad ("I Need You"). She's also adept at bringing to life the kinds of witty, intelligent songs (e.g., "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)" and "Under the Rainbow") that give the lie to the airhead/redneck stereotyping that tends to dog country music in some circles.

Everybody Knows was another engaging chapter in Trisha Yearwood's growth. And as far as the whole singer-songwriter thing—well, the friend who first introduced me to Yearwood’s music also reminded me about that other fella who never wrote a single one of the big hits in his entire six-decade global-superstar career. Maybe you've heard of him—some rube by the name of Frank Sinatra.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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