LYLE'S `LOVE' IS ECLECTIC
Gannett News Service
He married the prettiest girl he
knew, but good ol' Lyle Lovett is still the same
insecure goob he always was. Lyle's convinced that
his beloved's parents, well, "They Don't Like Me."
("She said, you know, he doesn't drink much. And
we've never heard him curse. And he's really not
that ugly, dear. She could've done much worse.") In
"Skinny Legs," he's checking out sharp dressers in
cool cars and speculating "you'd love me if I were
a looker like him."
Most of the songs on
Lovett's new "I Love Everybody" disc (his fifth)
are at least a decade old, but there's nothing like
getting hitched to Julia Roberts to affirm his
homely self, we reckon. Physical imperfection is as
close as the collection comes to hanging on a
theme. And once he's thoroughly picked over his own
flaws, Lovett gleefully describes those he sees
around him in dark, cruel detail on songs like "The
His writing here runs from
the wonderfully weird to the half-finished.
Lovett's cast of quirky characters include a fellow
who helps himself to his dying grandmother's gold
tooth (in "Creeps Like Me") and a comely music
store clerk (his "Record Lady's" "got the cutest
little cartridge that you've ever seen"). And he's
still got a deft way with a poignant moment, as on
"Hello Grandma," in which he calls an old
girlfriend's home, then learns she now has a
handsome, rich husband.
Much of the rest rambles.
"Ain't It Somethin' " and "La To the Left" are
pulled from the dregs of Lovett's unrecorded
catalog. The first single, "Penguins," plain
doesn't make any sense. (Although the situational
irony of lines like "I don't go for movie stars" is
pretty obvious.) With 18 generous songs, though,
it's difficult to quibble.
It's all played with a
manic grin in his voice and a spring in his guitar
strings. His Large Band takes an extended break,
and the folksy songs are for the most part fleshed
out with spare arrangements for a handful of
He closes with a schmaltzy
sing-along in the title track, featuring a
celebrity chorus that includes Rickie Lee Jones,
Leo Kottke and Lovett's wife. The kicker to this
harmony fest? "I love everybody, especially
Copyright 1994, Gannett News
Service, a division of Gannett Satelitte
Information Network, Inc.
KIM WILLIS, LYLE'S `LOVE' IS ECLECTIC., Gannett
News Service, 11-11-1994.