Heather Myles,
Sweet Talk & Good Lies
(Rounder, 2002)

Heather Myles laments "Nashville's Gone Hollywood." If so, there's no trace of it on this album. She twangs her way through her own sweet compositions and old favorites with old school country flair that could be from 50 years ago. Every note and word on Sweet Talk & Good Lies testifies to the power of the title. There are tales of betrayal, joy and simple daydreaming, all with a kick that puts the fears of "Nashville's Gone Hollywood" to rest.

Without ever losing a blatant country attitude, Myles stretches the form to show off its curves. "Homewrecker Blues" is a fine bitter-breakup tune, set to cheerful music to help dance away the anger. "One and Only Lover" toys with an almost Hawaiian sound while daydreaming about the guy who got away. The more poignant songs are pitched with the perfect sense of thoughtful melancholy. It's very hard for a new female vocalist to claim "Cry Me a River" for her own, but Myles' slow crooning makes it an entirely new song. None of these are flashy songs, but her voice slides and dances with every word dressing up the simplest tunes like fine jewelry on a denim dress.

While not a song goes unadorned, none are ever given so much flash that it hides their heart. If you're a fan of plain country, Sweet Talk & Good Lies is sure to be welcome company. And if you think you're not, it just might change your mind.

- Rambles
written by Sarah Meador
published 28 December 2002

Buy it from Amazon.com.