C11S6CD11 Lets get the trivia out the way straight away, Lyle Lovett was married to Julia Roberts a long time ago and only for about 18 months. The fact that he has released 13 albums, contributed tracks to over 15 different films and acted in a couple of Robert Altman films seem to pale into insignificance compared to the Julia Roberts fact, even in main stream music publications!
I was lucky enough to see Lyle Lovett live this year at the third time of asking (he had cancelled his previous 2 visits to the North East) it was a really cool gig Lovett seemed at total easy with his self, confident in his own abilities and just delighted to be able to make music for a living. This album reflects all of those traits, it’s a compilation of tracks Lovett has recorded specifically for movies, they are all covers versions and showcase Lovett singing Gospel, Jazz as well as his usual country style.
What struck me the most when I bought this album (after all the different styles) is the diversity of films Lovett has contributed to, we have children’s favourites, Toy Story (You’re Got A Friend In Me) and Stuart Little (Walking Tall) romantic comedy, Hope Floats (Smile) and high end drama Quiz Show (Moritat, Mack The Knife). It seems that Lovett can turn his style to be appropriate for anytime of film, and as I write this I note he also has an original tune of the soundtrack of Dead Man Walking. The Sean Penn film chronicling a prisoners last days on death row.
Although not all the tracks work on this album (nobody can cover What’d I Say by Ray Charles) but this ranks as one of my favourite Lyle Lovett albums, his re- interpretations of Irvin Berlins Blue Skies and Smile which I am stunned to find out was co-written by Charlie Chaplin are brilliant. My Favourite is his rework of Moritat better known as Mack The Knife, I guess you could go like for like with Frank Sinatra on this tune, so Lovett slows it down and genuinely brings something different to the track.
This album isn’t a true reflection of Lyle Lovett work, but if a reflection of what he can do when given licence to steer away from his traditional country roots, and that might suit some people. Lyle Lovett is a real talent who deserves to be heard.