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Lyle Lovett

Step Inside This House

(MCA)

Texas troubadour Lyle Lovett’s latest album offers up an interesting concept—2 CDs of cover songs from a myriad of Texas songwriters who have influenced Lovett’s work, including Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Steven Fromholz among others. What these songs have in common is their potent storytelling and simple, but affecting melodies—two of the prime characteristics of Lovett’s music as well.


Highlighted by Fromholz’s vivid “Texas Trilogy,” Van Zandt’s haunting tunes, and traditional Texas classic, “Texas River Song,” Step Inside This House not only revives the work of some unjustly ignored songwriters, but also contributes compellingly to Texas mystique. My only complaint is that Lovett’s approach is a bit too suave and cool on some of the grittier tracks. Guy Clark’s material works better when sung by the master himself with that craggy, lived-in, West Texas voice. Nonetheless, Lovett’s taste is above reproach and fans of alternative country, roots rock and great songwriting will love this album.

Rating:

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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