Beth Johnson
November 24, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Pretty Little Stranger

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Joan Osborne
Producers
Vanguard
genre
Rock

We gave it an A-

Anyone familiar with Joan Osborne’s riveting ’95 breakthrough Relish (beyond its anomalous ”what if God was one of us” pop smash) shouldn’t be surprised that she’s taken her bluesy roots-rock sensibility and driven it through Nashville with Pretty Little Stranger. What is a surprise is how seamlessly her own writing stands up next to gems from Kris Kristofferson and Rodney Crowell. We know Osborne can sing like Joplin, but here she mostly goes for a creamier country-soul sound (with assists from Alison Krauss and Vince Gill), and the result is terrific and timeless.

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