Album Review: Trisha Yearwood, Every Girl (Deluxe Edition)

Trisha Yearwood

Every Girl (Deluxe Edition)

The revamped edition of Trisha Yearwood’s latest album is an improvement over the standard edition.

It accomplishes this through the addition of three new tracks, as well as through a more thoughtful sequencing that improves the album’s overall flow.

In its original iteration, Every Girl opened with the sharp melancholy of “Workin’ On Whiskey,” then went straight into the frothy pop of “Find a Way,” and then into the dreary and meandering Karla Bonoff ballad, “Home.”

It was the most disorienting opening of any Trisha Yearwood album, and heavily contributed to the “everything but the kitchen sink” feeling created by the project as a whole, as if Yearwood had stitched together tracks from multiple albums and thrown them all together on a mixtape.

“Every Girl” is now the first track, and it works so much better thematically, allowing the album to be reframed as an exploration of different aspects and experiences of womanhood, with each song being the path taken by a different girl after they got off of the ferris wheel.

The first new track, “I Dare You to Love,” is a powerful piano ballad that serves as a strong buffer between the title track and that original three-song run. It immediately takes its place among the album’s finest moments.   “Find a Way” is still a strange detour when we get to it, but as the fourth track instead of the first, it doesn’t produce the same sense of musical whiplash.

“The Matador” and “Can’t Take Back Goodbye” are smartly moved up in the track list, creating space between those two high points and the album’s peak, “Bible and a .44,” which features harmonies from Patty Loveless.   Every Girl saved too many of its highlights for its latter half, but the deluxe edition is far better paced.

Now, you can only do so much with a revamped track list, and there are still more middling moments on this collection than any Yearwood album not named Where Your Road Leads.  But the additions of her cover of “Shallow” and a thirtieth anniversary acoustic take on “She’s in Love With the Boy” make the album feel like a celebration of Yearwood’s long career and the breadth of her talent as a vocalist. Even the album’s nearly excessive guest appearances work better if the project is approached with that lens.

And to be fair, Every Girl was still a solid album by anyone else’s standards.  It just wasn’t upper tier Trisha.  But in its new iteration, it’s a little bit closer.

4 Comments

  1. I love the new version of “She’s in Love with the Boy”! Her voice is still so good and I love the production. I don’t know what I’d think of “I Dare You to Love” on its own, but I have to admit that I like the Kelly Clarkson version much better. I find it more motivating.

  2. My issue with Every Girl is Trisha didn’t take enough chances, take enough risks. I really wanted to hear her tackle the great ‘modern’ Matraca Berg-type songwriters: Brandy Clark, Lori McKenna, Erin Enderlin, preferably on songs we haven’t heard before. Take what she’s done brilliantly for 30 years and adapt those sensibilities for the modern era. She just played it too safe. Although I give her tremendous credit for embracing Ashley McBryde and gifting us her version of Gretchen Peters’ “The Matador,” which is easily one of the best songs Peters has written and released in the last decade. With Trisha I always look for, and expect, a Berg or Peters song amongst the track list for any new album. It’s a pre-requisite at this point.

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