The Very Best of Robbie Fulks
First Appeared at The Music Box, February 2000, Volume 7, #2
Written by John Metzger
Somewhere between pop and country, lies the music of Robbie Fulks. No wonder Geffen Records wasn't quite sure what to do with him. After a one album stint with the unappreciative label, Fulks has once again returned to Chicago for a second term with Bloodshot Records, who welcomed him back with open arms.
As can be expected, Fulks' latest release (The Very Best of Robbie Fulks) seems hellbent on shifting from one place to the next with an easy-going dexterity. Beneath the seemingly deceptive title rests a collection of new and unreleased nuggets that touch upon the entirety of Fulks' career and the diversity of his musical interests.
Fulks opens with Jean Arthur, which turns the transcendent guitar solo from Derek and the Dominoes' Layla into a lilting pop melody, and he closes by invoking the British invasion music of Gerry and the Pacemakers on the album's hidden track, a cover of Leavin' on a Jet Plane. In between, Fulks jumps through a myriad of musical hoops crossing through riotous insurgent country on his music-scene rant Roots Rock Weirdoes, sterling bluegrass mayhem with the help of former bandmates Special Consensus on the rousing Hamilton County Breakdown, and gorgeous country-'50s rock balladry on the weepy I Just Want to Meet the Man — to name just a few stops on his whirlwind stylistic tour.
Fulks has not yet put together an album that quite matches the captivating energy or cohesiveness of his live sets. Nevertheless, all of the music on The Very Best of Robbie Fulks once again demonstrates that he is a talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Surely, the best is yet to come.
The Very Best of Robbie Fulks is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2000 The Music Box