Single Reviews: Trisha Yearwood, “I’ll Carry You Home”; Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, “Shallow”

“I’ll Carry You Home”

Trisha Yearwood

Written by Gordie Sampson, Caitlyn Smith, and Troy Verges

“Shallow”

Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood

Written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt

Both of these songs are pretty good.

“I’ll Carry You Home” covers familiar territory, expressing unconditional love and support with tried-and-true metaphors.  A nice sentiment, but nothing we haven’t heard before.

“Shallow” has received a level of hype and acclaim that has never made much sense to me, but it works well in the context of the film and both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga acquit themselves nicely on the recording.

Neither recording will surface in even a top fifty list of my favorite tracks by Trisha Yearwood.  But I want to write about them both because the same thought crossed my mind on two separate occasions now.  First, when I heard Yearwood sing “I’ll Carry You Home” on the ACM Awards, and again when I listened to her duet with Garth Brooks for the first time this morning.

The thought is a simple one but it needs to be said:  Trisha Yearwood is simply the greatest singer alive.

Oh, you can insert whatever necessary caveat you need to there.  Qualify it by genre or region, or suggest that there’s a better singer out there who has yet to be discovered.

But let’s get real.  Yearwood is now in her fifties, and she sounds as good or better than at any time in her career.  She’s got roughly thirty years of recordings to document that she is without peer as an interpreter of song.  She has pure vocal power, but it is never used to showboat. Just to emote.

When she let loose on “Shallow,”  it gave me chills.  Here’s a song I’ve heard ad nauseum over two years, and it never resonated with me.   The original recording lost me when Gaga started belting.   Give Yearwood the same lyrics and basic melody, and it becomes a performance for the ages.

As for “I’ll Carry You Home,” I forgot it was even on the Every Girl album.  It wasn’t one of the tracks that made it to my go-to playlist.  I’ve been too busy playing the hell out of “The Matador.”   Revisiting it after the ACM Awards, I picked up on all of the smart choices she made in her delivery.  This is a song that could easily have descended into sap, but Yearwood keeps things understated, which makes the message so much more effective.

Neither one of these tracks is among her best, but let’s get real.  There isn’t a country artist in history who has sung so many great songs so well.  She’s in the same league as Patsy Cline as a vocalist, with a catalog that rivals Emmylou Harris with its relentless consistency.

It’s long past time to start talking about Trisha Yearwood as an all-time great. 

I’ll say straight out that she’s the greatest female singer in country music history, and that she deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, and Linda Ronstadt.

Out of all of those women, she’s the only one still alive and at the peak of her abilities.  For that reason alone, it’s worth checking out her most recent singles.

Grade: B+ (Both Songs)

10 Comments

  1. I agree that Trisha is one of the all-time greats and one of the greatest singers alive as her album of Sinatra covers amply demonstrated

    Nice to hear new material from her

  2. I like MS trisha yearwood she is the best female vocalist in country music today i just recently got her latest cd which was good and this song was from that cd good to see her making music video’s again she looks healthy and happy and i watch her cooking show that comes on the food channel called trishas southern kitchen it comes on on Saturday’s twice and once on sundays once where she can be her silly goofy self and have fun with her friend’s and family like her sister and more i have all of her CDs she’s an icon and a g.o.a.t. too
    By

  3. Wonderful to finally hear this from someone. Personally, I think concentrating on other aspects of her career (cooking) and not working her voice so hard the last decade or so has allowed for her to sound so good now. I thought the same thing when I first listened to the Evey Girl album – she hasn’t last a step in 30 years.

  4. I have played and replayed “I’ll Carry You Home” over and over and I believe it is one of the best songs I have ever heard. Nice job Trisha…one of my favorite singers ever.

  5. Trisha Yearwood has a beautiful clear voice!!
    A calm, great personality.
    The world is a better place with her in it.
    GOD bless you!!

  6. Trisha Yearwood is a brilliant singer! I love how effortless it is for her to sing these songs! A great voice!!

  7. Although I’m not wild about “Shallow”, either in the Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper version (which has been overplayed [IMHO]) or in this one, I have to say that I’ve heard far worse things on country radio in recent times than this.

    Garth has always been an iffy proposition for me as an artist. He has made some exceptional records; and one can argue convincingly that he helped pull country music to its highest level of popularity during the 1990’s. But others can argue equally convincingly that he did so by pushing it into the realm of arena/stadium bombast, where rock went big time in the 1980’s. And I’m sorry folks, music, whether country or rock, doesn’t belong in a cavernous arena or a stadium.

    As for Trisha–is she the best female artist in country music at present? Yes. I won’t argue that point. Truth be told, she is among the best female artists in any musical genre since 1990, country or otherwise (IMHO).

  8. Agree that Trisha is an all-time great. I’d love to see your top 50 favorite Trisha tracks. My guess is that there would be some that were never released as singles.

  9. Of course, I agree with most all the comments here concerning Trisha! She is, no doubt, one of my top favorite female vocalists in the genre. Kevin nailed it when mentioning that she’s always been more about emoting rather than showing off, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why she’s always been one of my favorites. She also comes from a time before the American Idol era where belting and vocal gymnastics are seemingly championed more than anything else. Listening to “I’ll Carry You Home,” it’s simply amazing how she sounds nearly the same as she did during her commercial prime in the 90’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.