Album Reviews

John Prine

For Better, Or Worse

Artist:     John Prine

Album:     For Better, Or Worse

Label:     Real Gone

Release Date:     09/30/2016


Hey man, it’s John Prine. So I won’t bitch about there not being one new, wry and dry observation of human foible amongst these fourteen coed duets and solo performances. I won’t bitch, because For Better, Or Worse ups the ante from 1999’s indelible collection of classic country duets, In Spite of Ourselves, and delivers all the humor, hubris and human foible found betwixt man and woman, husband and wife.

Prine’s relaxed, husky vocals snuggle up, and just as often oppose the ladies he’s gathered here for his second affair. By remaining ever faithful to the Ernest Tubb/Loretta Lynn combo, Iris Dement shines brilliant on the scrappy “Who’s Gonna Take The Garbage Out” and “Mr. and Mrs. Used To Be.” Nashville hellcat Kacey Musgraves kicks Prine square in the ass on Buck Owens‘ “Mental Cruelty.” Miranda Lambert is infallible on “Cold, Cold Heart.” Alison Krauss just reminds you again and again why she’s still the one to beat on the achingly tender “Falling In Love Again,” while Lee Ann Womack brings your grandaddy’s country to Conway Twitty’s singular “Fifteen Years Ago.” I suppose it won’t matter either way to Prine or his ladies, but give him the duets Grammy now and get it over with.

– Mike Jurkovic

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