Lyle Lovett – Natural Forces (Universal Music Canada)

LylelovettEschewing the big band format of his last release, country crooner Lyle Lovett gets back to what he does best on Natural Forces: crafting irresistible high and lonesome country tunes.

Lovett is criminally underrated in my opinion, as you can hear on this collection of 12 tracks. Combining a mix of originals along with carefully selected covers of Townes Van Zandt and Eric Bell, Lovett vocally sounds as strong as ever while his backing band compliment their leader well. Whether they are backing him on the swing-inspired Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel, the stark elegance of Van Zandt’s Loretta or the lazy but inspired title track, it’s tough to believe that he isn’t a commercial juggernaut.

An artist as honest and true as Lovett deserves widespread recognition for a remarkable career to date, including this newest record.

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