The album is essentially packed-full of pleasantly put-together hooks, enjoyable melodic settings and observant if easy-to-slip-past-you lyrics.
By continuing to do what he does best, Dwight Yoakam, with Second Hand Heart, adds yet another excellent album to his nearly flawless catalog.
Her self-definition as an artist is an inescapable part of the storyline on Pageant Material; she better defines her persona than on the prior album, while dazzling us more with the surfaces and the interiors of the songs.
The Blade is her first album that can’t be construed as a debut. It’s also the first that doesn’t feel like a debut. It’s coming from a place of confidence in talent, of assurance in what she’s doing.