Picks and Pans Review: Street Language

UPDATED 09/15/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/15/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

Rodney Crowell

While Crowell has probably gotten more attention in recent years for being the husband of Rosanne Cash, he is one of the most imaginative songwriters of the country-rock era. 'Til I Gain Control Again, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Shame on the Moon, Ain't No Money and Voila, an American Dream are samples of his memorable work. As a singer he has a less than overpowering voice yet manages some arresting performances, particularly of his own songs. This LP leans more toward the rock than the country side of his style, and it includes such notable examples of his composing as Past Like a Mask, When I'm Free Again (co-written with Will Jennings) and Looking for You (co-written with Mrs. Crowell). It also includes a crass song he did not write, She Loves the Jerk, by John Hiatt: "He's a no good so-and-so/ But she'll never let him go/ Though she knows it'll never work/ She loves the jerk." Even lyrics like that, insulting as they are, shouldn't substantially diminish this solid meat-and-potatoes album, which is direct and satisfying. (Columbia)

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