Picks and Pans Review: Humour Me

updated 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jesse Winchester

There's more than one poignant aspect to this album. Winchester has a sensitive touch with a folk-rock tune, for one thing; his song "I Don't Think You Love Me Anymore," for instance, suggests some of the pain of those early warning signs of disaffection. But there's also a historical poignancy to this album, Winchester's first in seven years. It has to do with the fact that in 1967 as he was starting out as a singer, he fled to Canada to evade the draft and—whether through cause and effect or coincidence—his career has never exactly flourished here, even though he was among those pardoned by President Carter in 1977. Certainly he seems too obscure for a performer of his talent—comparisons with James Taylor aren't out of line. This affable album is a convincing sampler, offering as proof of his range the semispiritual "Let's Make a Baby King," the novelty rock tune "Well-a-Wiggy" and the ironic "They Just Can't Help Themselves." The album was recorded in Nashville with such familiar studio musicians as Mark O'Connor, Jerry Douglas and Jim Horn adding to the general good feeling. It's still hard, though, not to feel a pang just from looking at the title of this record, with its Anglicized spelling of what most Yanks would render as humor. While Winchester was born in Memphis, he has, pardon notwithstanding, remained a Canadian citizen and still lives in Montreal. (Sugar Hill)

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