Picks and Pans Review: Let the Picture Paint Itself

updated 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Rodney Crowell

Less than five years ago, he was considered one of neo-Nash-ville's best songwriters, singers and producers. But Rodney Crowell's star has faded of late, and many have pinned the blame on his soap-opera breakup with Roseanne Cash in 1991—a split that provided Cash with some of her best material and Crowell with some of his sappiest. Perhaps it is the new label or just time healing wounds, but this collection of simple treasures, sung with renewed urgency, finds the multi-Grammy winner back on his game. Some will no doubt wonder if he still has his failed marriage on the brain (particularly with the gently mournful "That 01' Door"). But "I Don't Fall in Love So Easy" could become the sensitive guy's theme song, while "Big Heart" is an unabashed paean to the glories of women.

At his best, Crowell is a master of the keen, understated observation. And this is some of his best. (MCA)

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