Lyle Lovett is one of those rare musicians that has earned a criticâ€™s pass of sorts. Thanks to decadeâ€™s worth of brilliant songs, heâ€™s allowed to put out a weaker album every now and then. Natural Forces, his latest, is not bad, but again not among his best. Though Lovett has managed to cast a pretty big net beyond the traditional country music fan with past albums, the dozen songs that make up Natural Forces are aimed more at the cowboy booted crowd this time around. Half of the songs on this one, including the addictively twangy â€œPantryâ€, were written by Lovett; The rest by other Lone Star State greats like Eric Taylor, Don Sanders, Tommy Elskes, David Ball, Vince Bell, Robert Earl Keen, and Lovett favorite Townes Van Zandt. Natural Forces may not be his best effort, but even a mediocre Lovett is still a pretty good thing.
Rating: 7.9 out of 10
Top track: â€œPantryâ€
Lyle Lovett â€“ Natural Forces/CD /12 tracks/2009/Curb, Lost Highway