My Baby Don’t Tolerate
Released: September 30, 2003
Peak: 63 US, 7 CW
Sales (in millions): --
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Lyle Lovett unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 56:52
3.955 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“Lyle Lovett is many things, but prolific is not one of them. Yes, at the outset of his career, he released an album every year or two, but by the time he became a star in the early '90s, he slowed down quite a bit. Between 1992’s Joshua Judges Ruth and 2003’s My Baby Don’t Tolerate, his first release on Lost Highway, he only released one album of new original material: The Road to Ensenada, in 1996, which followed 1994’s I Love Everybody, a clearing-house of songs he wrote before his first album. So, My Baby Don’t Tolerate is his first album of new songs in seven years, and two of its 14 songs – The Truck Song and San Antonio Girl – were previously released on 2001’s Anthology, Vol. 1 (which is bound to frustrate fans that bought that uneven collection just for the new tunes), leaving this as a collection of 12 new songs.” STE
Tolerate “is very similar to The Road to Ensenada, sharing that album’s clean, unadorned production, directness, and preponderance of straight-ahead country songs.” STE In fact, “several songs sound like retreads from Lovett’s earlier efforts, even as a listener welcomes the reprised syncopated, hep cat, Louis Jordan-meets-Sister Rosetta Tharpe signatures that help define his quirky style.” AN
“Given the long wait between albums and since the record is so firmly in the tradition of The Road to Ensenada that it could be branded a sequel, there may be an initial feeling of anticlimax, since there’s not that many songs and they all feel familiar. Such is the complication of a long wait – it invariably raises expectations – but judged as a collection of songs against Lovett’s other albums, My Baby Don’t Tolerate holds its own very well” STE as Lovett “still fuses country, blues, jazz, folk, big band, and pop like no one else on the planet.” AN
“While long-time fans were reportedly disappointed with the album’s pop-flavored opening track Cute as a Bug,” WK “a by-now formulaic song of hottie lust,” AN “many of the other songs demonstrated his strengths as a storyteller.” WK
In My Own Mind, which “was nominated for a 2004 Grammy in the category Best Male Country Vocal Performance,” WK tells the tale of “a family man who seeks solace from a busy household, drawing restorative power from nature (‘no rain, just the sunshine’).” AN
“The album finds itself when Lovett begins revisiting dark places in his mind. and get right to the bleak antagonist who narrates the confused loss of the elegantly jazzy You Were Always There, the snaky blues of the title song, the pointy-toed send-up of bygone Music City hillbillies (Nashville), and the sly portrayal of the bribes of luckless blacks (Election Day) in the old-time South.” AN
“Oddly, the album ends with two gospel songs with remarkably similar names, which some critics decried as an overly precious attempt at enforced quirkiness.” WK “As the infectious, if repetitious gospel numbers prove, the man with Eraserhead hair isn’t breaking any new ground.” AN
Overall “many of his eccentricities are toned down…Even the handful of ballads are lighter, lacking the somber introspection of Joshua Judges Ruth or the subtleness of I Love Everybody. Everything here is out in the open, and it’s the better for it; musically, it may offer no surprises, but its directness is appealing, particularly because Lovett simply sounds good singing country songs. And that’s what My Baby Don’t Tolerate offers – Lovett singing good country songs and sounding good. It’s not a complicated pleasure, but it doesn’t need to be, and after a long dry spell, it sure is nice to have a new collection of songs from this reliable songwriter.” STE
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First posted 9/14/2009; last updated 5/20/2022.
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