Lyle Lovett, who has won four Grammys, is in many ways a younger Willie Nelson: a unique Texas singer/songwriter who combines country, folk, Western swing, blues, and Tin Pan Alley popular music into a seamless, personal whole. His latest, My Baby Don’t Tolerate, is a very good, but not great return after an eight-year break from recording his own material.
“Cute As a Bug” is Lovett at his best: a quirky tale of an encounter with a woman in a Volkswagen who is
“Cute as a bug,
Short as a minute,
“She’s a pretty little package with everything in it.”
Great tune, catchy beat, skewed outlook – all we could ask from the ex Mr. Julia Roberts. The title track is a fine simmering blues number, “The Truck Song” an existential country shuffle in the form of a love song to his truck Old Black, “In My Own Mind” is Lovett’s poignant tribute to the deeply introspective life, and “You Were Always There” is a haunting jazzy ballad about a man who likely will never escape the shadow of abandonment. Nothing much else on the album is up to Lovett’s own high standards, however.
Portions of this story originally appeared here.