Music Review: Pontiac
Lyle Lovett's Pontiac was released in 1987 — So was I. It is, in my opinion, one of the finest country music albums ever recorded, and why it hasn't enjoyed tremendous continued acclaim is baffling. When I use the term country, I'm not talking Top 40, I'm talking TEXAS. Texas country is a different animal. Think George Strait, Joe Ely, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson.
The design is notably plain: an out-of-focus black and white photo, with minimalistic type choices — you'd barely notice this on a shelf. This is an album that's nearly 30, and still holds up! Production is solid, guest artists are unreal (Edgar Meyer! Emmylou Harris! Vince Gill!), and the songs are timeless. I'm not being hyperbolic. Those of you who know me know I hate almost everything, and so when I love something, good luck prying it out of my hands. This album I love.
The album spans every mood, I found myself thinking of the four humours: melancholic, phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine. Who uses cello on a country album? Lyle Lovett. Who makes a song about shooting your sweetheart's new husband sound otherworldly beautiful? Lyle Lovett. It's just a tremendously smart album - full of wordplay and pathos.
If you, like me, enjoy the guitar playing of country music, but break out in a rash at the mention of the dog and the pickup truck and the cold beer and the woman in the short shorts, THIS ALBUM is for you! You'll find elements of many different styles here - Big Band and swing, notably, but the record is so cohesive you wouldn't be able to say, okay, THIS is the jazz track. Lyle's voice was possibly at its finest here, although he still sounds great to me. Finally - this record is only 35 minutes long, so give it a spin