Picks and Pans Review: Fame and Wealth

updated 06/06/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1983 01:00AM

Loudon Wainwright III

The last of the lukewarm folkies, Wainwright is still issuing his detached, funny musical commentaries on modern life. These days, after all, there aren't many performers who dare just stand up at a mike armed only with a guitar and well-turned phrases. But Wainwright, 36, persists. This album includes a sentimental tune, Five Years Old, for his daughter, Martha (Wainwright is divorced from Martha's mom, Canadian singer Kate McGarrigle), and perhaps more cynicism than makes for completely comfortable listening. One song, for instance, is called Revenge; another, Thick & Thin, includes the lines, "Through thick and through thin/Draw, lose or win/To the bitter end you'll be a friend of mine." Still, nobody can poke such sly, pointed fun as Wainwright when he satirizes the awards syndrome in The Grammy Song. Fantasizing that he has just won a Grammy, he goes on to cite the escalation of prizes he receives: "Bo Derek and Barbara Mandrell/A Pulitzer and a Nobel/Joan Rivers and Lana Cantrell/...I'd like to thank my producer and Jesus Christ."

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