Album: Lyle Lovett, Natural Forces (Hump Head/Lost Highway)

Once upon a time Lovett rested his narrow eye on the wide world of Texan society, landscape and fauna, and coaxed out of those things surreal lament.

The songs were funny, blue and weird; they even broke your heart. Then Lyle became a star and something went missing. So it's good to report that much of his original furtive control is back in this suite of Texan songs (four by Lovett himself). "Goin' to choke my chicken till the sun goes down," he sings, and somehow we know he isn't just singing about chickens.