My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Trisha Yearwood – ‘Where Your Road Leads’

It’s somewhat surprising that Trisha Yearwood never had any major crossover success, considering that much of her material seems to have been tailored to appeal to listeners outside the country market. However, in an era when hits by her contemporaries Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Martina McBride were climbing the pop and adult contemporary charts, Yearwood’s success was strictly limited to the country charts. After five successful albums with Garth Fundis, she teamed up with Tony Brown, with whom she shared production duties on ten of the eleven tracks of her sixth release. The result, 1998’s Where Your Road Leads, found her mostly moving further in a mainstream pop direction, with a few play-it-safe nods to country radio.

The change in producers was barely noticeable in the first single release, the mid-tempo “There Goes My Baby”. Similar in style to her previous single “Perfect Love”, and virtually indistinguishable from much of Trisha’s work with Garth Fundis, “There Goes My Baby” climbed to #2 in May of 1998. It was followed by the somewhat overblown title track, which despite being hyped as “the” duet with Garth Brooks and produced by Brooks’ producer Allen Reynolds, “Where Your Road Leads” is a Yearwood vehicle, with Brooks solely in a supporting role and never taking the lead vocal. Written by Victoria Shaw and Desmond Child, it had less chart success than the previous Yearwood-Brooks collaboration, the prior year’s #2 hit “In Another Eyes”. Despite the obvious star-power of both both performers, “Where Your Road Leads” peaked at #18.

Yearwood returned to the Top 10 with the album’s third single, the fiddle and steel charged and somewhat fluffy “Powerful Thing”, which reached #6. Despite its lightweight lyrics, it is one my favorite tracks on the album. The fourth and final single release, Diane Warren’s “I’ll Still Love You More” appears to be an attempt to recreate the success of the previous year’s “How Do I Live”. However, “I’ll Still Love You More” is a bit too saccharine for my taste, and despite having reached #10 on the charts, it is one of the more forgettable hits in Trisha’s catalog.

Like the singles, the album cuts are somewhat hit or miss. The dreamy-sounding “Never Let You Go Again” is rather tedious and my least favorite song on the entire album. “I Don’t Want To Be The One”, written by Carole King and Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady, is also a bit lackluster. The pop-leaning “Heart Like A Sad Song”, however, is a standout, as is my favorite track among the non-singles, “Bring Me All Your Lovin'”, written by Doyle Primm, Allison Moorer and Kenny Greenberg.

Overall, Where Your Road Leads is an uneven effort, dull at times, with occasional flashes of brilliance. It’s worth noting, however, that Trisha’s magnificent vocal performance often overcomes the sometimes mediocre material. Nevertheless, it doesn’t rank among her best work.

Where Your Road Leads reached #3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and was the last Trisha Yearwood album to earn platinum certification. It is available inexpensively from third-party sellers at Amazon.

Grade: B-

5 responses to “Album Review: Trisha Yearwood – ‘Where Your Road Leads’

  1. DimSkip October 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I agree this album is one I consider to be a little uneven, the first such from Trisha, but it contains possibly my all-time favorite Trisha song, “Wouldn’t Any Woman.” Whenever I spin this CD, I always end up repeating that one over and over and over (especially when driving) before I finally move on to other albums.

    • DimSkip October 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

      “Love Wouldn’t Lie To Me” is another standout track imo.

      Your faves “Heart Like A Sad Song” and “Bring Me All Your Lovin'” are great too, but for me just a notch below the two I already mentioned.

  2. bob October 19, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I agree with DS on “Wouldn’t Any Woman”, great song by Bob DiPiero, Mark Sanders and Michele McCord, and “Love Wouldn’t Lie to Me” by Don Schlitz and Terry Radigan. Also love “Heart Like a Sad Song” by Annie Roboff and Arnie Roman. These are the songs from this album. plus “There Goes My Baby”, that I have on my MacBook I-Tunes.

    I agree that it’s surprising that Trisha hasn’t had any crossover success. My wife’s more of a pop music fan (Melissa Manchester, Sara Bareilles, Nancy LaMott, etc.) and she loves Trisha’s music. I think of Trisha as more pop than traditional country which is fine with me.

  3. Ben Foster October 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    “There Goes My Baby” is another one of my favorite Yearwood singles. It’s her spectacular performance that really makes it great. I also like “Powerful Thing” – not her best, but her performance overcomes the hindrance of second-rate lyrics. Plus I just can’t resist that much fiddle and steel!

  4. Michael A. October 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Definitely my least favorite Trisha Yearwood release. It’s still better than 90% of what is released today, but when I’m in the mood for a Trisha Yearwood album, it’s the last one I reach for. The only song that gets any regular plays in my iTunes is “There Goes My Baby.”

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