Good Old Boys

Good Old Boys

Randy Newman's Southern concept album opens with a shot of his satiric wit: In "Rednecks," he creates a thoroughly believable character, deflates racism, pokes fun at Georgia governor Lester Maddox, and offends the uptight on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Yet the best tracks aren’t funny at all: "Guilty" and "Marie" are both love songs, delivered by admittedly flawed characters. The haunting ballad "Louisiana 1927," about a real-life flood of historic proportions, took on new meaning after Hurricane Katrina.

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