Picks and Pans Review: Help Yourself
Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band
Since their slick, overproduced Oh! Brother LP in 1978, the Gatlins have moved resolutely back into the heart of country music with last year's Straight Ahead and now this LP, which is perhaps their best ever. The sibling harmonies by Larry, Rudy and Steve are unmatched in Nashville for tightness, sweetness and depth. But it's Larry's songwriting that gives the Gatlins their distinct sound. The highlights include It Don't Get No Better Than This, a sort of country How Deep Is Your Love, and Until She Said Goodbye, which starts off with a mandolin over the harmonies and recalls the Gatlins' I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love. A third, I Still Don't Love You Anymore, deserves the title of the year award and sounds good, too, with dizzying pedal steel by Mike Smith. Larry is uncommonly adept at the ironic play on words, a C&W hallmark. Daytime Heroes, for instance, is about a daytime-TV freak whose escapes are soaps, martinis and her "Prince Valium." The title of the LP comes from the lines "If you just can't help yourself/Then help yourself to me."
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