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Joshua Judges Ruth

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iTunes Review

Titled after three sequential books in the Old Testament, Joshua Judges Ruth is an album of hard spaces and hard places. In comparison to the cabaret-style amiability of Lyle Lovett's previous album (Lyle Lovett and his Large Band), the music here is notable for its starkness. And within that, Lovett makes it soulful. Its nearest corollary in the world of pop music would be Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, which used vignettes of unremarkable people to express the infinite cruelty and sadness of walking through the world each day. In Lovett’s “Baltimore,” a parting between a mother and son is described in lines of utter tragedy: “And a woman lies upon the bed/I think she must be dying/And I recall the words she said/As she began to cry.” The music is played like skin hanging off the bone. But not everything here is so severe. In “Since the Last Time,” “You’ve Been So Good Up to Now,” and “Church,” Lovett implants his love of blues and gospel. Still, it's the delicate despair of “Baltimore” and “North Dakota” that makes this an album of the cold and open plains of the heart.

Customer Reviews

Another stellar album

One of my personal favorites. He paints a beautiful picture and tells a compelling story. Baltimore and family reserve are two of the best songs he's done

Best LL Album

Best album he has ever made. Reminds me of my momma!! She loves Lyle Lovett.

Best Lovett Album Ever!!!!

I've been a Lyle Lovett fan since his Big Hair Band days, but this album is his best one to me. I never get tired of the songs which is a combination of folk, country and blues. The lyrics hit the soul while the music stimulates the ears and mind.


Born: November 1, 1957 in Klein, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Lyle Lovett was one of the most distinctive and original singer/songwriters to emerge during the '80s. Though he was initially labeled as a country singer, the tag never quite fit him. Lovett had more in common with '70s singer/songwriters like Guy Clark, Jesse Winchester, Randy Newman, and Townes Van Zandt, combining a talent for incisive, witty lyrical detail with an eclectic array of music, ranging from country and folk to big-band swing and traditional pop. Lovett's literate, multi-layered songs...
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