Review: 'Prizefighter' shows Yearwood's range

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2014 3:30 PM
Review: 'Prizefighter' shows Yearwood's range

Trisha Yearwood, "Prizefighter: Hit After Hit" (Gwendolyn/RCA Nashville)

Trisha Yearwood returns with her first new recordings in seven years with "Prizefighter," which combines 10 of her best-known hits ("XXX's and OOO's," ''She's In Love With The Boy") with six new songs.

The title tune pairs Yearwood with acolyte Kelly Clarkson, and the two overcome the song's empowerment clich├ęs through the earth-shaking force of their voices. But the album includes better songs: "I Remember You" is a tender ballad addressing a lost love, set to quietly orchestrated strings. It allows Yearwood to reveal her talent for conveying emotion through a combination of strength and restraint.

Similarly, the cheeky "Your Husband's Cheatin' On Us"_written by Matraca Berg, Marshall Chapman and novelist/playwright Jill McCorkle_brings out Yearwood's bluesy side, as heard on previous gems such as "Wrong Side Of Memphis" (another Berg co-write featured on "Prizefighter.")

Yearwood's re-entry into the country music sweepstakes hasn't received as much attention as that of her husband, Garth Brooks. But "Prizefighter" not only reminds listeners Yearwood's past triumphs; it also proves that her remarkable voice deserves a place among the current generation of country hit-makers.