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Album: JD Souther, If The World Was You (Slow Curve)

This is one-time Cocaine Cowboy (see Barney Hoskyns' book Hotel California) and Eagles-associate Souther's first album in 30 years and if he looks a little battered on the cover, that mournful, semi-yodel catch in the voice sounds as good as it did on Black Rose, his semi-masterpiece from 1976. The opener, "I'll Be Here at Closing Time", is a song so miraculously simple that it's hard to get beyond it. When you do, there are jazzy horn arrangements, Louisiana shuffles, and more of that world-weary voice.