Tanya Tucker's throaty vocal has been sorely missed on contemporary country airwaves too often populated with female vocalists either blatantly going for crossover or trying out for cheerleader.

Tanya Tucker's throaty vocal has been sorely missed on contemporary country airwaves too often populated with female vocalists either blatantly going for crossover or trying out for cheerleader. Her first album in five years is a fine return to form, with A-list writers and personality for days. "Old Weakness (Coming On Strong)" and "A Memory Like I'm Gonna Be" are classic Tanya grit, but what impresses most here is her passionate way with a ballad. "Oh What a Love" and "We Had It All" ache with yearning, and "Over My Shoulder" and "1010 Whipporwill Lane" are hope and regret personified, respectively. Tucker conveys a sense of urgency on "I Can Live Without You (But Not Very Long)" and toughness on "Should'a Thought About That." "Borrowed Wings" (with harmony by Vince Gill) is subtle perfection. Tucker delivers the kind of vocal performance and insightful interpretation here that only having done some livin' provides.—RW

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print