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New Pick of the Week

Joe Ely, "Love and Danger", MCA

October 08, 1992|RANDY LEWIS

This is Ely's first studio album in four years, and his first for a major label in eight (ironically, it's the same major label--MCA--with which he had much-publicized run-ins in the '80s).

For anyone who thinks Billy Ray Cyrus is the be-all and end-all of country singers who know how to rock, once you hear Ely crank up the adrenaline, it'll be Billy Ray Who? As always, Ely is taking the outsider/loner's view of love and life, spinning witty, frequently brilliant metaphors ("she was soft as a Kmart pillow") and setting them to melodies that seem at once familiar and fresh.

For those who missed the two excellent albums he made for the independent Hightone label in the late '80s ("Lord of the Highway" and "Dig All Night"), this will serve as an introduction to the powerhouse band Ely's been fronting for the past several years.

Joe Ely and his band play the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano Nov. 14.

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