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Album Review | COUNTRY

Kim Richey, ‘Thorn in My Heart’

If dependability were rewarded, Kim Richey would have all the trophies. Her first six albums meandered from contemporary country to pop to folk and were uniformly excellent. She wanders back to Nashville for her seventh release, “Thorn in My Heart,” and doesn’t miss a step. Locating the deepest part of heartache with pinpoint accuracy, Richey pierces on the catchy title track, observing, “It’s hard to hold your hand when you’re letting go.” She heads in a sultrier direction on the slinky “I Will Wait,” which is all close harmonies and body heat. And she induces shivers as a weary soul on the gospel-tinged “Take Me to the Other Side.” She also invites several buddies to the party to lend their voices with sublime results. Trisha Yearwood chimes in on the keening “Come On.” (Yearwood’s harmony vocal is so lovely it serves as a reminder that it’s far past time she made a new album. Come on.) And Jason Isbell lends vocal ballast to the playful “Breakaway Speed.” (Out Tuesday) SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Take Me to the Other Side”


Kim Richey plays Club Passim on Friday.