Lashings of syrup from the selfless champion of good causes and queen of the lovesick

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Nanci Griffith – Hearts In Mind

Unlike Emmylou Harris, with whom she must dread comparison, Nanci Griffith has slid into an all too sickly-sweet niche. It’s impossible not to hanker after the more strident country-folk of 1986’s The Last Of The True Believers rather than this mawkish collection. Too well-meaning and consumed by “all-conquering love”, even the songs with a message seem merely worthy. There’s no doubting Griffith’s heartfelt honesty and passion, but flawless execution nullifies intent. Do we really need more songs about 9/11 or, indeed, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath?