Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

It's Not Big It's Large (Lost Highway)

Texas Platters

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

It's Not Big It's Large (Lost Highway)

It isn't that Lyle Lovett's been absent for the past decade. Then again, It's Not Big It's Large is only the lanky Texan's third collection of new songs since 1996. He's obviously been wrestling his muse, and the wide-angle view he presents here is a welcome return to form. The opening big-band blast of "Tickle Toe," a Lester Young composition, is an overture of sorts for a set that then ranges from soul and gospel to high-stepping country, introspective folk to bluegrass. There are also moments of shimmering beauty like "The Alley Song," which evokes high points of the singer's past. The disc's last two tracks reprise the deep gospel "Ain't No More Cane" and an acoustic take of "Up in Indiana" and feel like a grand finale.

***.5

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