The Very Best of Robbie Fulks
For starters, don't take the title too seriously. This is a long way from a "greatest hits" album — mainly because country/rock renegade Robbie Fulks hasn't had a whole lot of hits in the first place. He deserves to though, for Fulks is a real treasure — a first-rate songwriter with a superb voice and twisted sense of humor, who's likely to appeal to fans of artists like Dwight Yoakam, John Hiatt, and Loudon Wainwright III. There are some very straight Bakersfield twang gems to be found here, like the steady rolling album-opener "Jean Arthur" or the pedal-steel splashed "May the Best Man Win." There's also a booze-soaked duet with Kelly Willis ("Parallel Bars"), a heartache country ballad ("I Just Want to Meet the Man"), and a hot-rockin', live in Norway cover of Moon Mullican's "Wedding of the Bugs." Fulks can stumble at times, most notably on the politically incorrect, X-rated "White Man's Bourbon." But when he's on, he's tough to top. Just check out the buoyant pop splendor of "That Bangle Girl," in which Fulks pays giddy homage to Susanna Hoffs, with instrumental backing from The Skeletons. And don't forget to check out the hidden bonus track, a most unlikely cover of John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane."
If you have any trouble tracking this down in retail stores, check out www.bloodshotrecords.com.