By Alanna Nash
Updated August 23, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Employing the bleak passion, frightening spiritual directness, and stark arrangements of 1997’s haunting ”Blue Pony,” Miller crafts Broken Things, an album of shivering emotional impact. Whether she’s addressing the violence in Northern Ireland or running down a litany of urgent personal desires (”I need something like morphine, only better”), the small-voiced Miller — abetted by the hand-in-glove harmonies of Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and husband Buddy — turns music into beguiling seduction.

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