Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Wanda Jackson: Heart Trouble [CMH, 2003]
The first studio album in decades by the 65-year-old rockabilly pioneer comes astutely produced by roots specialist John Wooler and shored up by a small host of well-wishers: Elvis Costello, Dave Alvin, Rosie Flores, and the Cramps, who lend welcome oomph to her oldie "Funnel of Love." DCN's recent The Wanda Jackson Show: Live and Still Kickin' offers proof aplenty that she remains likable, lively, and spunky. Oomph, however, is in short supply here. The material is choice, the voice full and healthy. But where unsung rocker Jackson was nearly feral and country chanteuse Jackson was soulful enough, here the only song that sounds felt rather than performed is "Walk With Me," about her personal savior the Lord Jesus Christ. [Blender: 2]