All Music Guide - Mark DemingIn 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.
This is a test.
New York Times - Nate ChinenThe 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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Performance CreditsEmmylou 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 CreditsJohn 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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All I Intended to Be based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Emmylou's willingness to step outside her expected zones and tackle new music, new delivery, new collaborations is always fun. This album has been much anticipated and lives up to my expectations. Every track is a delight, and it has earned all the spots I intended to give to other CDs in my changer currently.
This is a good, but not great, Harris CD. Of course, this would be a career project for many Nashville women country singers. Some of the songs, especia;ly the first ones, stand out but the album could stand a couple higher energy songs and a few more electric insruments to give it punch. A beginner should try Wrecking Ball, her Songbird box, and the 2 CD Warner Brothers retrospective.
A wonderful work by an artist who continues to grow and change. The songs are wise and wistful and her voice is as beautiful and haunting as ever. A great album to listen to and one that's sure to creep into your favorites as you listen to it more and more.
Emmylou has been on an upward trajectory since the beginning of her career. With the release of Wrecking Ball she has continued that climb. This record is etheral, sublime, and simply wonderful.
Jude Johnstone's song Hold On, from her CD "On a Good Day," is a perfect fit for Emmylou. Her passionate and soulful delivery of this engaging song is suited for the AAA radio market. Emmylou has recorded a gem!!!
If you don't have this yet, get it... and if you can, get a copy for anyone you love and have ever loved. This is a long-awaited and yet another great one from her heart with all the soul, passion and insight that can only come from a life truly lived and felt... a haunting, heartfelt and moving reflection of life, love and loss. There aren't enough tears.
I'm a latecomer to Emmylou Harris, having discovered her just in the last few years, but I'm enjoying catching up! This newest album from her is just great. I enjoy all the songs, and her voice is as good as ever. The perfect gift for the bluegrass/folk/country fan in your family.