Editors’ Notes Humor, pathos, and self-torture can be found in approximately equal measure on Bobby Bare Jr.’s Undefeated, the singer/songwriter’s first release since 2010. While his rheumy, unfiltered vocal style suggests a man constantly on the edge, his writing reveals considerable craft and control. Bare’s latest work addresses post-breakup blues with insight and self-mockery, reflecting a bruised survivor’s spirit. He’s a master at mixing and matching sounds from various eras, opening his album with the distorted downer twang of “North of Alabama by Mornin’” and wrapping things up with the acid-drenched garage rock of “Don’t Stand at the Stove.” In between are sensitive country-pop ballads (“If She Cared”), atmospheric ruminations (“The Elegant Imposter”), and old-timey faux laments (“My Baby Took My Baby Away”). When it counts, Bare lays it all on the emotional line, as scar-bearing tracks like “Blame Everybody (But Yourself)” and “As Forever Became Never Again” show. The Young Criminals’ Starvation League provide sturdy and flexible backup, negotiating the tunes' hard angles and soft shoulders with admirable gusto.

SONG
North of Alabama By Mornin'
1
4:07
 
If She Cared
2
3:14
 
The Big Time
3
3:43
 
Don't Wanna Know
4
4:46
 
The Elegant Imposter
5
2:11
 
Undefeated
6
4:50
 
My Baby Took My Baby Away
7
3:12
 
Blame Everybody (But Yourself)
8
3:15
 
As Forever Became Never Again
9
3:51
 
Don't Stand At the Stove
10
4:23
 

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