Foster & Lloyd "If It Hadn't Been For You"
By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY
The week's top pick goes to Watch Your Movie, from reunited country duo Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd
PICK OF THE WEEK
Watch Your Movie, Foster and Lloyd
Between 1987 and 1991, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd turned a smart blend of Texas folk, rockabilly and power pop into a half-dozen country hits before splitting up. They reunite on It's Already Tomorrow, out digitally today (physically May 17). This jangly number imagines a lover's past as a four-star biopic.
Country Standard Time - Reviews "It's Already Tomorrow"
It's hard to believe that more than 20 years since Foster and Lloyd last released an album. It's even harder to believe when you give their new record, "It's Already Tomorrow," a listen. The harmonies, the hooks - they are all still there as if 1990 were only yesterday.
The duo acknowledges the passage of time in the album's title, which also serves as the lead-off track. The song is a jubilant, jangly rocker in which they marvel "It's already tomorrow, how did it get here so fast?" While it is about an enduring marriage, the tune could also be referring to a long-running friendship. The album, overall, has rather optimistic tone. Songs like the melodic Just This Once, the spare, heartfelt If It Hadn't Been For You and the just plain exquisite Something 'Bout Forever all beautifully extol the virtues of love.
It's not that there isn't some darkness to the disc too. The closing When I Finally Let You Go is an Everly-esque country tearjerker about ending a relationship while Don't Throw It Away tackles a relationship-gone-wrong from the opposite end of the sonic spectrum. With its big guitar riff, it is more Southern rock in nature. In fact, the album accents the rock in its country-rock sound. The hilarious bar rocker That's What She Said tosses out lines like "She's heard my single and double entendres/and they're both still working on her." Hold That Thought and the irresistible Lucky Number also project a guitar rock sound and good-timing feel, which might be accentuated by the present of Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson on guitar and bass (he also co-wrote Lucky Number).
Foster and Lloyd wrote all of the other songs together except for the one older number, Picasso's Mandolin, which they did with Guy Clark (who recorded it on his 1992 outing "Boats To Build"). Here Foster & Lloyd have added some new lyrics and some soulfulness while bringing back Sam Bush on mandolin. More country flavor can be found in the Jim Lauderdale-like Can't Make Love Make Sense and Texas-style rocker Hiding Out.
Despite their long hiatus, Foster & Lloyd have returned with a totally wonderful record - full of good spirits and great songcraft. Hopefully, they won't take 20 years to make their next collaboration
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