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Road to Ensenada
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop
After the more experimental themes and misanthropic bit players populating his prior album, I Love Everybody, the songs on this superb 1996 set return to the more affable, earnest, but still knotty balance established by L... more »
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After the more experimental themes and misanthropic bit players populating his prior album, I Love Everybody, the songs on this superb 1996 set return to the more affable, earnest, but still knotty balance established by Lyle Lovett on his first four albums. He spins amiable yarns about his preferred headgear ("Don't Touch My Hat") and larger-than-life love objects (the one-eyed "Fiona"), sways hilariously through the backfired seductions of the samba-paced "Her First Mistake," and swings buoyantly through "That's Right (You're Not from Texas)," then ropes the equally droll Randy Newman into a tongue-in-cheek duet on "Long Tall Texan." In between, he sneaks a fresh string of dark love songs ("Private Conversation," "I Can't Love You Anymore") that sustain his formidable standards. Forget the forced issue of his putative ties to "new country": Lovett is simply one of the best American singer-songwriters extant, whether playing raconteur, philosopher king, or wounded romantic. --Sam Sutherland
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Member CD Reviews
Felicia J. (FMJ) from MILLIKEN, CO
Reviewed on 1/28/2008...
Laid-back, folksy, witty and introspective, "The Road to Ensenada" is a most enjoyable album from this idiosyncratic singer-songwriter.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The best in a tight field
Erik K | Austin, TX United States | 04/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How do you pick the best Lyle Lovett album? Do you go for the melancholy and jazzy strains of Pontiac? The big band meets country of the Large Band album? Perhaps the sad and beautiful Joshua Judges Ruth? All would be albums most artists would kill to call a career best. But Lyle? He beats them all with The Road to Ensenada.He has quirky, laid-back and humorous moments in songs like Don't Touch My Hat (a Texan answer to Elvis' Blue Suede Shoes) and Long Tall Texan, which pairs him again with Randy Newman in a gently humorous cowboy song (you'll of course remember You've Got a Friend in Me which the two sang together). The western swing of That's Right, You're Not From Texas is so infectious that you simply can't help singing along. The best of these is Her First Mistake, with it's marvelous wordplay and off-beat rythm. If you're not sure what people mean by country cool you'll have no question after hearing Lyle's delivery on that one.But while his wry and humorous songs can always be counted on, it's with the songs that dig deeper into human emotion that Lovett excels. Listen to the loneliness of the narrator in Christmas Morning: :Lesser songwriters might have included some vitriol or nastiness to flesh out this song of a lonely man ignored by the world. Lovett manages it with quiet resignation, answering people's empty "have a nice days" with "Hey, what could they mean by that, perhaps I'm the fool they take me for, not anything more."The title track reaches a similar level of sadness, and the hidden bonus track crosses between the humorous, the lonely and the hopeful for a beautiful finish to a perfect album. The Lyle-curious should start here. The Lyle-faithful surely already play this one on a regular basis."
A Landmark Album!
Erik K | 10/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Does Lyle Lovett ever put out a bad album? The answer, as he reaffirms us with The Road to Ensenada, is a no. This is definitely one of the finest country albums of the 90's. Lyle Lovett proves that he can cut through the trash that populates today's country market and still make an excellent album. This is one of the most personal and revealing albums I've ever listened to (by any artist). Although this album was put out after his split with Julia Roberts, Lyle doesn't wallow in misery or self-pity. He even manages to slip in some of his now-famous dry wit on several of the tracks. He's also one of the few singers who can look at relationships objectively, while still incorporating all of the feelings that go with them. This is simply a phenominal album. This is a very intelligent album, but it doesn't sacrifice good music in the process. This album is both thought-provoking and fun to listen to at the same time. No CD in my rather large collection has received as many spins as this one."