After detours including a Grammy-winning gospel LP and a key role in boyfriend Robert Plant's Band of Joy project, Griffin is back to her day job: singing her own artful country-folk songs. Except here, with a voice evidently stretched by her side projects, she expands the notion of country. Her unusual harmonies with Plant on "Highway Song" and the hypnotic "Ohio" match anything from his celebrated Raising Sand LP. And when Griffin turns the unlikely line "God is a wild old dog/Someone left out on the highway" into a profound meditation on spirituality, all smeared vowels and sparkling guitars, it's clear her writing remains as surprising as it is masterful.
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