My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Trisha Yearwood – ‘Everybody Knows’

After four fine albums, Trisha’s fifth effort, released in 1996, was a bit of a disappointment for me. She was in her usual fine vocal form and Garth Fundis produced as usual, but the record overall feels just a little too tasteful at times. The overall mood leans towards AC, and is rather ballad-heavy with a few nods to radio.

The lead single was the radio-friendly ‘Believe Me Baby (I Lied)’, written by Kim Richey, Angelo, and Larry Gottlieb, which hit #1. The bright production belies the regret-filled lyric and passionate vocal as the protagonist admits she never really wanted her man to leave.

It was followed by the broadly similar #3 hit ‘Everybody Knows’, written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, with the protagonist this time fighting with all her friends and family members’ well-intentioned advice about how to cope with her broken heart. Opening track ‘I Want To Live Again’ fits into the same sophisticated mid tempo contemporary radio friendly template with broad commercial appeal.

The third single, ‘I Need You’, flopped in the 30s. The downbeat ballad about a neglected wife pleading for her husband’s renewed attention is a fine song with a beautifully delivered vocal, but it was perhaps a little too subtle or bitter for casual listeners as she comments,

The television seems to be your life’s ambition

And begs for a return to:

That boy
The one that chose me over every other choice

I like all the singles, but my favorite track is the Kevin Welch story song ‘Hello, I’m Gone’, a fiddle-led number about a woman leaving a man in Texas with nowhere particular in mind to go, and nothing but one suitcase, a broken down pickup truck, and a gun:

Man, she’s just running
It don’t matter where
She figures she’ll know where she is when she’s there
And she didn’t leave nothin’ she can’t do without
That’s enough reason for leavin’ no doubt
She turns down the window, turns up a song
Laughs at the weather and says
Hello, I’m gone

Almost as good is the delicately sung AC ballad ‘Maybe It’s Love’, written by Annie Roboff and Beth Nielsen Chapman about the uncertain feelings at the start of falling in love with someone after a period of having frozen her heart. Trisha’s lead vocal and Vince Gill’s harmony are exquisite.

The other highlight is the bitter ‘A Lover Is Forever’, written by Fred Knobloch and Steve Goodman. This is a rejected lover’s diatribe against the man who is leaving her to wed another:

You think a ring upon your hand
Will solve your insecurity…

I know you think you’re so damn clever
You can marry any time you want
But a lover is forever

There is little overt to criticize with the remainder of the material, but it tends to blend together rather. Songs like the soothing ‘It’s Alright’, written by Jamie O’Hara and Gary Nicholson, with husband Robert Reynolds’ Mavericks bandmate Raul Malo on harmony, and ‘Little Hercules’ are the epitome of tasteful production, beautiful singing and thoughtful lyrics that somehow manage to end up less than the sum of their parts. A little more interesting is ‘Under The Rainbow’, written by Matraca Berg and Randy Scruggs about finding domestic contentment in the real world.

The international version of this album boasted three additional tracks, the delicately sung portrait of ‘Even A Cowboy Can Dream’, the boring ‘Find A River’, and the cheery up-tempo ‘The Chance I Take’ (my favorite of the three), but none of these really adds substantially to the album.

The album is easily and cheaply available.

Grade: B

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5 responses to “Album Review: Trisha Yearwood – ‘Everybody Knows’

  1. bob October 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I would agree with your review. The album’s good but there are no great songs. I like your description of “It’s Alright” with Raul Malo on harmony as “soothing”.

  2. Michael A. October 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Well written review. I like this album slightly less than Thinkin’ About You. A number of good songs, but no moments that blew me away. The review did inspire me to play the album today, including “Believe Me Baby…” twice.

  3. J.R. Journey October 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    ‘Hello I’m Gone’ and ‘I Need You’ rank as my favorites here. I still play the two up-tempo singles a lot too – and I agree they sound very similar. The title track includes some killer singing.

  4. Ben Foster October 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I haven’t heard all of the songs on this album, but “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” and “Everybody Knows” (particularly the latter) rank among my favorite singles.

    My current Trisha Yearwood collection doesn’t run much deeper than her radio hits, and I know that needs to change. I’m going to get my hands on a few of her studio albums, and these reviews will no doubt help me decide which one to start with.

  5. Razor X October 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    ” … She was in her usual fine vocal form and Garth Fundis produced as usual, but the record overall feels just a little too tasteful at times.”

    I’d say it is a little too polished. I’d really like to hear her do something more stripped-down, raw and organic. I agree completely with your take on this album; it isn’t bad but it isn’t her best. A little too AC-leaning for me and not quite up to the high standards of the albums that preceded it.

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