Label: Curb Records
Why yes, this is the courtly Texas legend's last album for Curb Records -- why do you ask? Capping a 25-plus-year partnership, Lyle Lovett's luxuriant croon is a flood of sweet relief on Release Me's country-classic title track, a startling duet with k.d. lang. The rest is a grab bag, heavy on covers (Chuck Berry, Townes Van Zandt) and even smuggling in a couple holiday tunes (the one about the hooker is lovely, though). And he suavely sells it all, of course, from the zippy "Keep It Clean" to the weepy "Dress of Laces" to the bracing gospel closer "Keep Us Steadfast." Freedom suits him.