The Highwomen is the eponymous debut studio album by country music supergroup the Highwomen, made up of band members Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires. It was released on September 6, 2019, by Elektra Records.
The album received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received a weighted average score of 79 based on 9 reviews.
Chris Willman from Variety called the album an “instant classic,” and went on to say that “the all-star foursome has put together an album full of high comedy and high pathos, zingy group-sings and gut-wreching solo turns, wryness and rue, and harmony co-existing with this strange and nearly forgotten thing called twang.” Laura Stanley at Exclaim! gave the album an 8 out of 10, and said the album “is both a call for change and a celebration of women in country music.” Writing for AllMusic, Thomas Erlewine gave the album four out of five stars and said, “The record’s resonance lies in its deep emotions and sense of craft. The craft isn’t incidental, either. Their shared skills as writers and singers provide the supporting evidence to Shires’ conceptual thesis: if country radio doesn’t want to play music this good, what’s the point of radio anyway?” Will Hermes from Rolling Stone gave the album four out of five stars. His review said,”What’s most impressive about The Highwomen, handsomely produced with Nashville neoclassicist Dave Cobb, is how artfully, and matter-of-factly, it engages social issues. Credit the concentration of songwriting talent. Every woman here is at the top of her game.” The album received seven out of ten stars from Chris Conaton at PopMatters who said, “They’re having a lot of fun, but the specifically feminist bent of the group’s outlook helps focus the album as well. The Highwomen is worth a listen for any fans of these artists individually or as a sampler for all of them.” Seth Wilson from Slant Magazine gave the album three and a half out of five stars. He praised the album’s title track, calling it “a powerful and succinct recalibration of Jimmy Webb’s “The Highwayman”. The album received three and a half out of five stars from Hal Horowitz at American Songwriter. He said the album is “generally more subdued than the Lambert-led Pistol Annies and less groundbreaking than Trio. It would have helped if all four women participated in every performance since at least one is MIA on the majority of tunes.” He criticized Dave Cobb’s production, calling it “professional” but “also a little dry.” In a review for Glide Magazine, Jim Hynes said the album “has its strong moments and it does carry a strong mission. Yet, its ambitious and inclusive scope creates an enormity that somewhat weighs it down.” In a mixed review for The Guardian, Michael Hann gave the album three out of five stars and said, “Four voices aren’t always stronger than one, and the collegiate nature of the record leaves one yearning for a little more single-mindedness.” Nicholas Hautman from Us Weekly gave the album four stars and called it an “instant classic.”
1. “Highwomen” (featuring Yola) 3:32
2. “Redesigning Women” 2:54
3. “Loose Change” 2:22
4. “Crowded Table” 3:29
5. “My Name Can’t Be Mama” 2:30
6. “If She Ever Leaves Me” 3:13
7. “Old Soul” 5:45
8. “Don’t Call Me” 3:36
9. “My Only Child” 3:53
10. “Heaven Is a Honky Tonk” (featuring Sheryl Crow) 3:54
11. “Cocktail and a Song” 3:37
12. “Wheels of Laredo” 4:14