All I Intended to Be

All I Intended to Be

4.5 10
by Emmylou Harris

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In 1995, Emmylou Harris made a decisive break with her creative past, recording the album Wrecking Ball with producer Daniel Lanois and abandoning the traditional country purity of her best-known work for lovely but spectral musical landscapes and exploring her muse as a songwriter in a way she had never attempted before. After Wrecking Ball, Harris recorded three albums in which she made the most of her new creative freedom and honed her impressive gifts as a songwriter, but All I Intended to Be, her first new release in five years, finds her reaching back toward a sound and style that recall the country and folk influences of her earlier work. But All I Intended to Be is clearly the work of an artist who is looking to the past entirely on her own terms, and with the lessons learned since 1995 clearly audible at all times. All I Intended to Be was produced by Brian Ahern, who was behind the controls for most of her albums of the '70s and '80s, and it features a handful of session players who worked with Harris and Ahern in the past, while Harris' occasional partner in harmony Dolly Parton contributes backing vocals to "Gold" (as does Vince Gill). The album's largely acoustic textures manage to sound both homey and fresh; if the melodies and the arrangements nod politely to traditional country sounds (and hold hands on "Gold"), the space in the production and the unpretentious artfulness of the songs reflect an intelligence and restraint largely absent from country music in the new millennium. Harris wrote or co-wrote six of these 13 songs, leaving more room for covers than on Red Dirt Girl or Stumble into Grace, but the tone of the album is consistent throughout, and she brings a streamlined passion to material by Patty Griffin, Billy Joe Shaver, and Merle Haggard that makes them her own. (Harris also writes and sings several tunes with Kate and Anna McGarrigle in what continues to be a truly inspired collaboration.) And as always, the most memorable thing about All I Intended to Be is Emmylou Harris' voice; there are few singers in any genre with a greater natural skill and better instincts, and as wonderful as these songs are and as fine a band as she and Ahern have on hand, it's her glorious voice that turns these simple materials into gold, and she only improves with the passage of the years. The surfaces of this album may seem less bold than the albums that immediately preceded it, but All I Intended to Be is the work of a consummate artist who is still reaching out to new places even when she points to her creative history.
New York Times - Nate Chinen
The material seems to have been chosen for its precision of image and ease of melody, and perhaps for some inherent ruminative languor. Ms. Harris, rarely singing more than two notches above a murmur, settles into a realm of sweet sorrow, contemplating life and death and several strains of disillusioned love.

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Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Vocals,Harmony,Guitar (Baritone)
Mike Auldridge   Dobro,Vocals
John Starling   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Dolly Parton   Vocal Harmony
Karen Brooks   Harmony
Phil Madeira   Accordion
John McPhee   Electric Guitar,Cordovox
Richard Rodney Bennett   Acoustic Guitar
Brian Ahern   Banjo,12-string Guitar,Acoustic Bass,Afuche,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Glen D. Hardin   Keyboards
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Steve Fishell   Pedal Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Vocal Harmony
Tim Goodman   Acoustic Guitar
Emory Gordy   Bass
Jim Horn   Recorder
Mary Ann Kennedy   Mandolin,Vocals,Harmony
Keith Knudsen   Drums
Lynn Langham   Harmony
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar,Slide Guitar,Mandocello,Weissenborn
Anna McGarrigle   Vocals
Buddy Miller   Vocals,Background Vocals,Harmony
Bill Payne   Keyboards
Dave Pomeroy   Bass
Pamela Rose   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Harmony
Jack Routh   Harmony
Randy Sharp   Harmony
Harry Stinson   Drums
Patrick Warren   Keyboards
Glenn Worf   Bass,Bass Guitar
Kenny Vaughn   Electric Guitar
Kate McGarrigle   Banjo,Vocals,Gut String Guitar,Soloist
Fats Kaplan   Mandolin

Technical Credits

John Starling   Duet
Merle Haggard   Composer
Emmylou Harris   Composer
Billy Joe Shaver   Composer
Brian Ahern   Producer,Tic Tac
Donivan Cowart   Engineer
J.C. Crowley   Composer
Patty Griffin   Composer
Jude Johnstone   Composer
Anna McGarrigle   Composer
Noland O'Boyle   Engineer
Randy Sharp   Vocal Arrangements
Kate McGarrigle   Composer
Ghian Wright   Engineer
Borza Ghomeshi   Engineer,Guitar Engineer,Vocal Recording
Marc André Bellefleur   Engineer,Guitar Engineer,Vocal Recording
Gene Nash   Engineer
Kyle Ford   Engineer
Ronen Givony   Editorial Coordinator

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