The problem with Yearwood's disappointing last album wasn't the slow pace of its music but the sluggishness of its spirit. There are plenty of ballads here too, but they're generally absorbing because she's recaptured the inner fire and sense of adventure that made her look like a true crossover queen when she released "Hearts in Armor" in 1992.
Most of these songs find her on the move--literally or metaphorically. Bus, train and car carry her on emotional journeys to Minnesota and Mexico and along the interstates. Yearwood negotiates the passages of the modern woman on the lively "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" and "I Wanna Go Too Far"--a song that pushes the point too hard, providing the album's only strained note.