Picks and Pans Review: Version of the Truth

updated 08/06/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/06/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Foster & Lloyd

It would be achievement enough that Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd sing, in their best harmonic moments, like the Everly Brothers (in their best harmonic moments). But F&L also write some of the liveliest, most inventive country songs around, and they inspire plenty of rock-from-the-heels strumming and picking from their backup musicians too.

This is their third album, and the Texas-born Foster, 31, and Kentuckian Lloyd, 34, have cleared out a uniquely entertaining niche for themselves, mixing rockabilly, country blues and an ability to look entertainingly on both the rueful and the rhapsodic sides of romance.

They also have a knack for succinctly evocative lyrics, such as the opening lines to "It's Over": "Long walk, short pier/ We're over the edge, my dear." Then in "Side of the Road" they spin a little tale right from the start: "Gary grew up in Gary, Indiana/ Home of both his parents and the Jackson Five/ One too many Westerns on the late night movie/ Put him on the highway in a cowboy state of mind."

As for the title tune, in its musings on the subjective nature of events, it comes as close to Kant as country music is likely to get, though, come to think of it, "Pure Reason Blues" might not be all that bad a title. (RCA)

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