By Beth Johnson
November 24, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Pretty Little Stranger

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Anyone familiar with Joan Osborne’s riveting ’95 breakthrough Relish (beyond its anomalous ”what if God was one of us” pop smash) shouldn’t be surprised that she’s taken her bluesy roots-rock sensibility and driven it through Nashville with Pretty Little Stranger. What is a surprise is how seamlessly her own writing stands up next to gems from Kris Kristofferson and Rodney Crowell. We know Osborne can sing like Joplin, but here she mostly goes for a creamier country-soul sound (with assists from Alison Krauss and Vince Gill), and the result is terrific and timeless.

Pretty Little Stranger

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