Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

LYLE LOVETT

NATURAL FORCES

2009-10-23

Lyle Lovett has always mixed keen observations about relationships and the human condition with either deep sentiment or wry, tongue in cheek humor that will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. This disc continues that trend. The reflective title track finds him fighting wanderlust and wondering if he’s worth the sacrifice made by the armed forces so that he can indulge himself. Just when you get lulled into the deeper questions raised by that cut he shifts hard into the novelty of the bawdy "Farmer Brown" and the twisted food metaphors that he uses for the age old request that it be kept in the pants on the catchy "Pantry" (which also appears at the end of the disc in an acoustic version). Back to the serious side of things, Lovett muses on lost love on "Empty Blues Shoes" and "Don’t You Think I Feel It Too", the inability to find a direction, "Whooping Crane", reminiscing about lost friends, "Sun and Moon and Stars" and having it all but moving on anyway on Townes Van Zandt’s "Loretta". While these later cuts are finely crafted, they all sound somewhat alike and tend to drag a bit when heard consecutively. On the more upbeat and musically diverse side is the steamy, steel guitar driven "Bohemia" and the positively rocking "It’s Rock and Roll" which re-unites him with old writing partner, Robert Earl Keen. Leaving the Big Band in the wings for this release, Lovett relies mostly on guitars, fiddles and mandolins to provide the musical backdrop that makes this a mostly fine listen. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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