Never before has the conflict between the pop-star aspirations of Alison Krauss and the bluegrass loyalty of her Union Station bandmates been so readily apparent as on New Favourite. Up until now, they've been content to alternate MOR pop-schlock albums with rootsy bluegrass throwback projects, but with New Favourite they attempt to do both, switching back and forth track by track. So you get Krauss cooing like Barbra Streisand over formless washes one moment, and then everyone dons overalls for a banjo-plucked hoedown, sung by Dan Tyminski (of O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame) or Ron Block, the next. It seems like a practical way to deal with divergent interests, but it makes a mess of an album.