Don't let the first three boilerplate country tunes on this sophomore album mislead you. Things pick up from there with several nicely sketched portraits, set to jangling country-rock, of characters yearning for better things from life and love. If she's not quite McCready for the big time, she's getting McCloser.
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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times' World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.latimes.com/soundclips