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Hard Bargain by Emmylou Harris
Released: Mar 2011
Label: Nonesuch
Harris' best albums, from 1975's Elite Hotel to the ambient-flavored Wrecking Ball, strike a fragile balance between earthy expression and ethereal beauty. It's a sweet spot Hard Bargain hits on several occasions, including the tracks "The Road" and "Home Sweet Home," both of which find the singer reflecting on love, career and even the late Gram Parsons. The bulk of Hard Bargain floats by with all the melancholy of a morning walk through a fading rose garden, but on "New Orleans" and "Six White Cadillacs," Harris proves she's still a cowgirl capable of dropping scratchy country-rock.
Justin Farrar

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