Patty Loveless, "Mountain Soul II"

84 Billboard Rating

Patty Loveless has an innate soulfulness that can't be taught, bought or won on a reality show. That's one of the reasons-along with sterling musicianship and inspired song selection-why her new album, "Mountain Soul II," is a must-have for fans of Loveless and roots music alike. When she sings, "There's no place so lonely as being half over you" on the track "Half Over You," listeners feel the same belief in her lyrics as they did when listening to Vince Gill sing "Never knew lonely till I met you" 20 years ago on the song "Never Knew Lonely." The stark tune "Diamond in My Crown," which finds Loveless accompanied by Emmylou Harris and a pump organ, is as pure and aurally fulfilling. Meanwhile, the gospel trio of "Working on a Building" (with Del and Ronnie McCoury), "Friends in Gloryland" (featuring Gill and Rebecca Lynn Howard) and "(We Are All) Children of Abraham" provides the album's spiritual center.-Ken Tucker

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