Mr. Lucky

It’s new music Tuesday again. 

To be honest, these days I’m much more likely to be checking out Morning Becomes Eclectic or Pitchfork for new music.  But one can’t be so obvious all of the time. 

Today brings the first release of new studio material in almost 7 years from Chris Isaak, one of the most underappreciated artists of our time.  Based on his previous work, I’ll go out on a limb and guarantee that it will be worth the wait.

mr-lucky

You may remember him only as that guy from the Wicked Game video, but the man’s got a catalogue of almost a quarter-century worth of material and if you’re not familiar with it, now is a good time to start playing catch-up.

But don’t just take my word.  Here’s a review of “Mr. Lucky” from Glenn Gamboa at Newsday:

Chris Isaak has always been hard to pin down. Singer-songwriter? Model? Actor? Comedian? Surfer? Talk-show host? He’s been all of the above at one point or another – his talk show starts on the Biography Channel this week – a compartmentalizing approach he has used in his music as well.

However, on “Mr. Lucky” (Reprise), his first album of new material since 2002’s “Always Got Tonight,” Isaak tries something new. Rather than focusing on one sound, he brings all his musical personas together under one roof.

Isaak is convincingly alt-country on “Cheater’s Town,” complete with his patented Orbison-esque falsetto flourishes. He’s a Petty-esque rocker on the chugging first single, “We Let Her Down,” and a tender pop balladeer on “You Don’t Cry Like I Do.” He charmingly tackles Bob Wills-styled Western swing on the simple, sweetly restrained “Take My Heart.” And he goes for another “Wicked Game”-size hit with a pair of lost-love songs – a reworking of his Diane Warren collaboration “Breaking Apart” as a wrenching duet with Trisha Yearwood and the pretty pop-country duet “I Lose My Heart” with Michelle Branch.

For nearly 25 years, Isaak has had a way with a pop melody, but his time away pursuing other interests seems to have made his ability to make his musical points that much sharper. “Mr. Lucky” shows that the talented Isaak doesn’t have to pick a passion. He can pursue them all with great results.

As mentioned in the review, be sure to check out “The Chris Isaak Hour“, premiering this Thursday, February 26 at 10pm Eastern on Bio. 

Isaak’s last extended television adventure graced Showtime earlier this decade – in a role that he was born to play – as himself for three seasons on the excellent “The Chris Isaak Show“, sadly unavailable on DVD.

The new show looks like less acting, but even more of the excellent stage presence and rockabilly sound that makes Isaak one of those artists that you’re going to want to see in concert someday. 

No time like the present to dig a little deeper to see and hear it for yourself.

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~ by acm213 on February 24, 2009.

One Response to “Mr. Lucky”

  1. As far as the sound goes it still sounds great and honest. Every song has Chris Issak pouring his heart out. Just listening to it makes me think of a fire place a six pack of beer and friends.

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