Equal parts genius, anarchist and freak of nature, Robbie Fulks is the under-heralded king of "real" country music. Georgia Hard, Fulks's latest effort, sports a mandolin-blessed tribute to highway escapism ("Where There's a Road") along with instant-classic cheater songs such as "Doin' Right (For All the Wrong Reasons)" and the perfect "All You Can Cheat." The Charlie Rich-influenced "Leave It to a Loser" and the soaring, brutal "You Don't Want What I Have" are adult, I-blew-it laments as good as any penned by Fulks's bygone heroes. A Dennis the Menace streak lightens things up with the pickup-gone-wrong camp of "I'm Gonna Take You Home (And Make You Like Me)" and "Countrier Than Thou," the artist's latest hilarious jab at the culture of mainstream country. Once again, Fulks pulls off what few can: expertly writing, singing and performing musical home runs that induce tears, giggles and deep thinking. Astounding.
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