Lyle Lovett: “Natural Forces”
This is Lyle Lovett’s cross to bear: Twenty years and eleven albums into his career, he’s doomed to be forever derided as a “consistent” artist — as though that’s such a bad thing. So the man makes albums that are all so good, it’s hard to pick which one’s the best; how dare he! I admit that his albums have more or less all been cut from the same cloth, and, on a stylistic level, Lovett’s music can sound a little samey. But each album is like a variation on a theme, and each one tends to have its own character, if not its own sound.
Natural Forces might be the quintessential Lyle Lovett album — the one that best sums up what he’s done and what he’s about. As such, it’s likely to be a big hit with his faithful fans, and unlikely to win over any of his critics, who will no doubt hear it as just another Lyle Lovett record, which it is. Thing is, it’s a very fine one, and in some ways it seems to pull together all the different strands of his work; Lovett has always been a sharp songwriter, but he’s also shown a keen interest in interpreting the work of others, especially Texas songsmiths, as heard on his all-Texan covers album Step Inside This House, and Natural Forces is an organic fusion of those two passions: It’s half Lovett originals, half Texan covers.
Read the rest at Stereo Subversion.