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Bruce Robison

The New World – 2008 (Premium)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Bruce Robison

Bruce Robison isn't an artist to joyously consume because of his singing voice. It is plain, though obviously functional by professional standards. But this Texas native really should labeled a songwriter/singer instead of the other way around. His songs are more spot-on real than Todd Snider, the performer with which his own world view is most closely aligned. Robison doesn't so much pull the listener into his own world as make that person believe he's been watching him.

The tunes on his sixth release wouldn't feel out of place on any of his previous five so he's not so much inventing the wheel as he is taking tightening the spokes and shining the sidewalls. The title cut is the best of this lot as Robison is firmly convinced his newest heartthrob is finally the real deal. There's some rockabilly to be found on "Twistin," an unavoidable toe-tapper.

Robison is joined by wife Kelly Willis, probably alt-country's premier songbird and pedal steel wizard Lloyd Maines to flesh out the instrumentation without overwhelming the tunes. This is just another set of splendidly crafted songs that few could write as well as Robison.