Trisha Yearwood “PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit” Album Review

trisha yearwood

Prime Cuts: Met Him in a Motel Room, Can't Trust the Weatherman, She's in Love with the Boy

Trisha Yearwood has had taken our imagination for the ride with her unforgettable tales. Who can forget the romance of Katie and Tommy in that one horse town in Yearwood's debut #1 hit "She's in Love with the Boy."  Who hasn't had our hopes up as we travel with the dreamy-eyed Elvis wanna-be to the "Wong Side of Memphis."  And who has not wept with the romance infatuated damsel who found out way too late that her paramour is none other than "Walkaway Joe."  Over the years, save for five compilation albums, Yearwood has blessed with all these stories over the course of 10 of her studio albums.  However, after 2007's "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love," Yearwood has been turning to other priorities.  After her successful detour in writing her cookbooks, her food TV program, and spending time being Mrs. Garth Brooks, she's finally back with "PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit."

Instead of lavishing us with a full length album, "PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit" is spattered with only six new songs and a re-recording of ten of Yearwood's hits.  What is most fortuitous is that Yearwood's new set follows on the heels of her husband's comeback album "Man Against the Machine."  However, unlike her husband's new album, her project is ushered in with lesser pomp and ceremony.  In fact, the CD's first single "PrizeFighter," a duet with Kelly Clarkson, has come and has gone without much fanfare as far as the charts are concerned.  Seven years since her last single, the song "PrizeFighter" unfortunately doesn't really spell comeback for Yearwood.  Though vocally Yearwood still aces through the song with her soulful grit, the song only contends in the middleweight division.  It's highly hyped on clichés that it sounds like a prep talk given by a coach before a high school game.

Going back to her mother's milk of story songs is "Met Him in a Motel Room."  One glance at the song's titular is enough to raise our eyebrows; but one listen to the song with definitely cause furrows in our brows.  "Met Him in a Motel Room," formerly cut by Gwen Sebastian, details how a lady went to a motel room with a seedy intentions in mind only to meet Jesus there.  You can always count on Yearwood to get us glued to every syllable of this stunning piece of work.  Also, as a cliff hanger type of a narrative is "Can't Trust the Weatherman."  A song that was first cut by bluegrass band Cadillac Sky, "Can't Trust the Weatherman" speaks of a disastrous wedding ceremony - weather wise - that became prophetic of the storms that the couple would face months metaphorically down the line.

The rest of the new songs unfortunately don't match up with stellar standard set by the aforementioned duo.  Matraca Berg, who has penned Yearwood's "Lying to the Moon" and "Wrong Side of Memphis," offers her co-write "Your Husband's Cheating on Us."  The song is passable, but it is let down by its serpentine melody.  As for the ten re-recorded songs, Yearwood has chosen some of her most obvious hits here.  Instead of waxing creativity into her new readings, Yearwood has kept abreast to her originals where she has had even brought in the original pickers for the songs.  Holding well through the passage of time are "She's in Love with the Boy," "XXXs and OOOs" and "How Do I Live." 

"PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit," in some ways belie the hype of a comeback album with some average material. But it still has enough great songs to hold its ground.



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