Picks and Pans Review:

updated 09/08/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/08/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fate's Right Hand
Rodney Crowell (DMZ/Epic)
Reviewed by Ralph Novak

At 53, Rodney Crowell seems to be suffering from a midlife crisis on this unusually cerebral album. The country artist, still a better songwriter than singer, seems to be taking stock on such tunes as "It's a Different World Now" and "Still Learning How to Fly." He hasn't completely lost his sense of humor, though. On "Time to Look Inward," he sings, "Jesus and Buddha and Krishna and Minnie Pearl knew/Do unto others the things you want done unto you." Even so, nobody will be cheerily singing along with this disc down on the farm. BOTTOM LINE: A heavy Hand

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