13 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Let’s face it: most great country music is about losing love. Songs about loss and regret tend to be grittier, more potent, and more forceful than tracks about just any other topic. Radney Foster’s great trick is writing songs with all of those strengths, yet often they're about gaining love, not losing it. This World We Live In proves he's not only one of country music’s great romantics but one of its few optimists. The opening track is a drinking song of pure elation: “My brain is actually buzzing with the vertigo I'm feeling/Got nothin' to do with inebriation/That kiss that you just hammered me with, girl/Oh, it's a staggering revelation.” Far from being blind to the world's cruelties, Foster carefully observes the hurt we all endure and still concludes that love conquers all in “I Won’t Lie to You,” “The Kindness of Strangers," and “Big Idea.” His optimism gets its guts from the music, which is always tough and indomitable, even when he’s singing something tender. The album concludes with “Never Gonna Fly,” about the importance of taking chances. It wouldn’t mean as much if it weren't coming from the mouth of a still-thriving Nashville survivor like Radney Foster.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Let’s face it: most great country music is about losing love. Songs about loss and regret tend to be grittier, more potent, and more forceful than tracks about just any other topic. Radney Foster’s great trick is writing songs with all of those strengths, yet often they're about gaining love, not losing it. This World We Live In proves he's not only one of country music’s great romantics but one of its few optimists. The opening track is a drinking song of pure elation: “My brain is actually buzzing with the vertigo I'm feeling/Got nothin' to do with inebriation/That kiss that you just hammered me with, girl/Oh, it's a staggering revelation.” Far from being blind to the world's cruelties, Foster carefully observes the hurt we all endure and still concludes that love conquers all in “I Won’t Lie to You,” “The Kindness of Strangers," and “Big Idea.” His optimism gets its guts from the music, which is always tough and indomitable, even when he’s singing something tender. The album concludes with “Never Gonna Fly,” about the importance of taking chances. It wouldn’t mean as much if it weren't coming from the mouth of a still-thriving Nashville survivor like Radney Foster.

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About Radney Foster

Radney Foster started his career as a songwriter, then found commercial success and critical acclaim as part of the duo Foster & Lloyd, and finally embarked on a solo career in 1991 that centered on his literate approach to country songwriting. Foster was born in Del Rio, TX, and took up the guitar at age 12. He began performing small-club gigs while attending the University of the South, a liberal arts college in Sewanee, TN, and took leave from school to try his luck in Nashville. In 1985, he signed with the MTM publishing firm as a staff songwriter, and soon struck up a partnership with Bill Lloyd, who joined the company two months later. Their "Since I Found You" became a Top Ten hit for the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, and on the strength of their demo tape RCA signed them as recording artists. Foster & Lloyd recorded three albums from 1987-1990, and landed a series of Top Ten singles in addition to complimentary reviews.

When their third album tanked, the duo amicably disbanded and Foster pursued a solo career. His debut, Del Rio, Texas, 1959, appeared in 1992 and proved a commercial as well as critical success; four of its singles hit the Top 40, and of those, "Just Call Me Lonesome" made the Top Ten, while "Nobody Wins" fell one spot short of the top of the country charts. However, the 1995 follow-up, Labor of Love, wasn't quite as popular with audiences as it was with critics. Foster revamped his approach on his third solo effort, 1999's See What You Want to See, which was more influenced by pop and rock. He subsequently parted ways with his label, Arista, and signed with the smaller Dualtone, which issued the live album Are You Ready for the Big Show?, a more traditional country outing, in 2001. The studio follow-up, 2002's Another Way to Go, found Foster exploring classic-style R&B in addition to country. In 2004 he released the acoustic album And Then There's Me (The Back Porch Sessions), only available online, but 2006 saw another Dualtone record, This World We Live In. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Del Rio, TX
  • GENRE
    Country
  • BORN
    July 20, 1959

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