Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hard Bargain

As with Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris' pristine soprano has deepened with the wisdom of age and the travails of experience. Hard Bargain, her new CD, is an autumnal reflection on the events of her past, a farewell to some old friends, and a reminder of the eternal powers of love, justice, and compassion.

In "The Road," she reflects upon her helplessness in the face of Gram Parsons' self-destruction while acknowledging her debt to him. When Emmylou finds a stray "Big Black Dog," she not only finds a friend for life, she discovers that grace is found in the most unlikely places. Throughout, Emmylou ponders love's power and elusiveness, but concludes that "love is always worth it." She sings this with the credibility of a life not only lived, but considered.

A hard bargain life may be, but it is in the end a bargain, if for no other reason than it allows us the chance to explore love in all its pain and wonder. In this quiet masterwork, Emmylou Harris reveals a scarred, resilient humanity whose main quality is a quiet persistent in the face of life's slings and arrows.

The Road
Home Sweet Home
My Name Is Emmett Till
Goodnight Old World
New Orleans
Big Black Dog
Lonely Girl
Hard Bargain
Six White Cadillacs
The Ship On His Arm
Darlin' Kate
Cross Yourself
To Ohio (iTunes bonus track)


Lydia said...

What a marvelous review. I hadn't heard of her new album and am so glad you posted about it. Of course i will buy it. :)

Pierre said...

Oooo, I hadn’t realised she had a new album out. The news has to come via those sailing ships.

lillyanne said...

I love it! She's sooo great...

K. said...

Lydia, you won't be disappointed.

Pierre, love the picture! you look like a man about to make a critical life decision!

lilyanne, you took the words right out of my mouth!

Fireblossom said...

I'll be right behind Lydia in line!