November 07, 2001

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Lyle Lovett, has just come out with a greatest hits collection, which has got me a bit sad. It's not the collection itself, but rather the continuing string of non-original releases that Lyle seems content to continue. The album does feature two new songs (a somewhat grubby marketing technique that I believe Billy Joel, another favorite of mine from way back, invented), but that just underscores the fact that these are his fist two new songs in five years.

Along with the greatest hits, his releases have been Step Inside this House, a collection of covers (which is truly wonderful); an instrumental movie soundtrack; and a live album. In 1996 he released an album of original songs, but before that he released I Love Everybody, made up of songs written before his recording career began. That makes five out his last six albums with essentially no newly written material, a depressing development for this amazing songwriter.

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