Highwomen: A Most Successful Heist
This is one fierce group of women.
The country supergroup of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby—the Highwomen—mercifully isn't about girl power. Theirs is a show of strength by four grown-ass women and their mighty voices. They harmonize like nobody's business (the '80s-tinged "Redesigning Women," rodeo-sweetheart track "Heaven Is a Honky Tonk") but it's just as fun when they trade verses, as on the wickedly swinging "My Name Can't Be Mama" and lonesome-West title track, co-written with Jimmy Webb (who composed "Highwayman," made famous by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who adopted the moniker in 1985 for their quartet). Morris takes center stage for "Loose Change," highlighting her clever-metaphor lyrics: "I'm gonna be somebody's lucky penny someday / instead of rolling around your pocket like loose change." Carlile exudes star power for the excellent "Wheels of Laredo" and "If She Ever Leaves Me"—a claim-staking weepie told from a lesbian POV. While not as famous, Shires ("Don't Call Me," a real spitfire) and Hemby (the Anne Murray-esque "My Only Child") prove much more than supporting players. And when all four voices come together with no solo turns for the angelic "Crowded Table," it's truly a high. © Qobuz