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The Road to Ensenada

4.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

After the more experimental themes and misanthropic bit players populating his prior album, I Love Everybody, the songs on this superb 1996 set return to the more affable, earnest, but still knotty balance established by Lyle Lovett on his first four albums. He spins amiable yarns about his preferred headgear ("Don't Touch My Hat") and larger-than-life love objects (the one-eyed "Fiona"), sways hilariously through the backfired seductions of the samba-paced "Her First Mistake," and swings buoyantly through "That's Right (You're Not from Texas)," then ropes the equally droll Randy Newman into a tongue-in-cheek duet on "Long Tall Texan." In between, he sneaks a fresh string of dark love songs ("Private Conversation," "I Can't Love You Anymore") that sustain his formidable standards. Forget the forced issue of his putative ties to "new country": Lovett is simply one of the best American singer-songwriters extant, whether playing raconteur, philosopher king, or wounded romantic. --Sam Sutherland

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Don't Touch My Hat
  2. Her First Mistake
  3. Fiona
  4. That's Right (You're Not From Texas)
  5. Who Loves You Better
  6. Private Conversation
  7. Promises
  8. It Ought To Be Easier
  9. I Can't Love You Anymore
  10. Long Tall Texan
  11. Christmas Morning
  12. The Road To Ensenada
  13. Bonus Track 1


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 18, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: June 18, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B000002OZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,184 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
How do you pick the best Lyle Lovett album? Do you go for the melancholy and jazzy strains of Pontiac? The big band meets country of the Large Band album? Perhaps the sad and beautiful Joshua Judges Ruth? All would be albums most artists would kill to call a career best. But Lyle? He beats them all with The Road to Ensenada.
He has quirky, laid-back and humorous moments in songs like Don't Touch My Hat (a Texan answer to Elvis' Blue Suede Shoes) and Long Tall Texan, which pairs him again with Randy Newman in a gently humorous cowboy song (you'll of course remember You've Got a Friend in Me which the two sang together). The western swing of That's Right, You're Not From Texas is so infectious that you simply can't help singing along. The best of these is Her First Mistake, with it's marvelous wordplay and off-beat rythm. If you're not sure what people mean by country cool you'll have no question after hearing Lyle's delivery on that one.
But while his wry and humorous songs can always be counted on, it's with the songs that dig deeper into human emotion that Lovett excels. Listen to the loneliness of the narrator in Christmas Morning: :Lesser songwriters might have included some vitriol or nastiness to flesh out this song of a lonely man ignored by the world. Lovett manages it with quiet resignation, answering people's empty "have a nice days" with "Hey, what could they mean by that, perhaps I'm the fool they take me for, not anything more."
The title track reaches a similar level of sadness, and the hidden bonus track crosses between the humorous, the lonely and the hopeful for a beautiful finish to a perfect album. The Lyle-curious should start here. The Lyle-faithful surely already play this one on a regular basis.
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By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Does Lyle Lovett ever put out a bad album? The answer, as he reaffirms us with The Road to Ensenada, is a no. This is definitely one of the finest country albums of the 90's. Lyle Lovett proves that he can cut through the trash that populates today's country market and still make an excellent album. This is one of the most personal and revealing albums I've ever listened to (by any artist). Although this album was put out after his split with Julia Roberts, Lyle doesn't wallow in misery or self-pity. He even manages to slip in some of his now-famous dry wit on several of the tracks. He's also one of the few singers who can look at relationships objectively, while still incorporating all of the feelings that go with them. This is simply a phenominal album. This is a very intelligent album, but it doesn't sacrifice good music in the process. This album is both thought-provoking and fun to listen to at the same time. No CD in my rather large collection has received as many spins as this one.
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Format: Audio CD
As with all reviews, this only reflects my personal taste, so many listeners of "The Road to Ensenada" would likely disagree. In my humble opinion, Lovett's strongest and most powerful work appears in his more serious songs, like "It Ought to be Easier" and the title track. Although songs such as "Don't Touch My Hat" are fun at first, their novelty eventually wears off. Of course, some of these cute tracks are Lyle Lovett classics, including "That's Right (You're Not from Texas)," and as a Texan myself, I feel quite guilty for not enjoying these songs as much as I should. Anyway, my complaints are minor-this is an incredible CD, and I highly recommend it to people just beginning their Lyle Lovett album collection. There are few artists who defy genre as convincingly as Lovett.
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Format: Audio CD
Although Lyle Lovett's most recent CD is quite good, No collection of Alt-Country music should be without THE ROAD TO ENSENADA. This CD is both elegant and self depricating, big and brassy, and closae adn intimate. Every song is good, and every song speaks to you from the heart AND the brain.

If you are looking for an alternative to the "HAllmark Card" sappy sacharin sweet themes that permeate modern country music, than Lyle lovett is your man, and THE ROAD TO ENSENADA is the CD to start with.
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Format: Audio CD
Rare is the artist who is difficult, if not impossible, to categorize. One moment country down to his boots, the next a smooth crooner with incredible wit who draws comparison to a modern-day Frank Sinatra...in a strange way.

Lyle is the consumate musician and he surrounds himself with nothing but the best (if not better) supporting musicians. This is particularly evidenced on his Live in Texas album (which I highly recommend), but for his best album start to finish, look no further than this beauty.

Songs that make you laugh, cry and just scratch your head in amazement at how he manages to survey a chapter of the human condition and then put every nuance into a 4 minute song....man, this guy is simply amazing.

What I like most about this album is that it touches upon so many genres. Rock, country, folk, pop...put them all in a blender and you have Road to Ensenada.

With too many great songs to list individually, I highly recommend that everyone out there picks this album up. You won't be disappointed.

ebhp
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