Lyle Lovett – Natural Forces

January 01, 1970

(Lost Highway)


For his first proper solo album his 2003 Lost Highway debut My Baby Don’t Tolerate, country music’s
beloved eccentric Lyle Lovett delivers the long-awaited sequel to his acclaimed
1998 double LP love letter to his fellow Texas
songwriters Step Inside This House.


Only on Natural
Lovett incorporates himself into the mix as well, offering up four
original tracks to offset the seven covers chosen for this collection. And it’s
within these tunes that exist the album’s liveliest moments, including the twangy
hoedown “Pantry” (co-written with girlfriend April Kimble and appears twice on
the album, both in electric and acoustic forms),   the
downright hilarious jump blues number “Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel” and “It’s
Rock and Roll”, a song co-written with fellow Lost Highway labelmate Robert
Earl Keen that could very well be the most rocking song Lovett has done yet
(guitar fuzz wears well on Lyle, and here’s hoping he explores this sound on
future endeavors).


Offsetting the jovial, kinetic nature of Lovett’s originals
are his choices of covers, most of which are very quiet and somber readings of
classic songs from the likes of fellow Lone Star balladeers Townes Van Zandt, David
Ball, Tommy Elskes and Vince Bell.  The
best of this batch, however, has got to be Lovett’s gorgeous, waltz-like
reading of children’s songwriter Don Sanders’ “Bayou Song” and a downright
haunting take on country-folk great Eric Taylor’s “Whooping Crane” (from
Taylor’s self-titled 1995 album), doing grand justice to the man whose career
has been so crucial to the design by which Lovett has crafted his own sound.


While Lyle Lovett is a man not known to stick to just one
style, Natural Forces stands tall as his
most diverse album to date. Yet, at the same time, it’s sufficiently steadfast
in the elements of such classic works in his back catalog as Pontiac and The Road to Esenada to keep this wonderful new album in heavy rotation
amongst his longtime devoted fanbase. 


“Pantry”, “Whooping Crane”, “Bayou Song”, “Loretta”, “It’s
Rock and Roll” RON HART


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