Home Read Classic Album Review: Jackson Browne | The Naked Ride Home

Classic Album Review: Jackson Browne | The Naked Ride Home

The California troubadour reaches the point where so uncool that he’s cool again.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For a laid-back hippie dude, Jackson Browne is one wily customer. Or do you think it’s an accident that his first album in six long years has a provocative, sure-to-garner-coverage title like The Naked Ride Home?

Well, Jacko, your little ruse worked — I listened to your CD just to find out what the hell that song was about. (It’s a metaphor for taking risks, living in the moment and baring your soul and so forth.) But here’s the real sneaky part: After Browne lures you in with that title, he hooks you with some surprisingly enjoyable pop-rock. His vocals are warm and inviting, his lyrics are intelligent and the band — four guys who can actually play their instruments — push these songs closer to the darker tones of Warren Zevon than the “fountain of sorrow” wimpiness of Browne’s past. Sure, it’s anachronistic as a hula hoop, but that’s part of its charm. I don’t know how Browne pulled it off, but somehow he’s become so uncool that he’s cool again. Very clever, Mr. Browne.


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