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Chris Knight

The Jealous Kind – 2003 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Chris Knight

Given the difficulty of finding a comfortable pigeonhole for Chris Knight, it's not surprising that he's generally sized up against artists with similar classification issues. In that regard, Knight fits well in genre busting company like Steve Earle, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, with his roots country-to-roots rock range and tendency toward vividly portrayed story songs.

Knight 's last album, the bleak and bitter "A Pretty Good Guy," was incredibly well received considering its 9/11 release date and dark subject matter. For "The Jealous Kind," his third album, Knight works a slightly lighter, but no less intense corner as he continues to document bent and broken characters based on the people he grew up with in backwoods Kentucky. Co-writers like Chuck Prophet (the joyous "Banging Away"), Gary Nicholson (the healed heartbreak of "Staying Up All Night Long," the title track) and Matraca Berg (the dusty "Devil Behind the Wheel") may have softened Knight's sharp corners a bit, but he still offers hard looks at hardened lives with a novelist's uncompromising eye for detail and a songwriter's flawless ear for melody.