Craig Havighurst
May 16, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

That life-of-the-Texas-party known as Robert Earl Keen has grown up without growing dull. On What I Really Mean, he shows he’s still funny and acerbic, walking on the odd side in ”The Great Hank” and ”A Border Tragedy,” while solid roots rockers like ”For Love” and the title track make more conventional use of his weathered baritone. Not quite as piquant or consistent as 2003’s Farm Fresh Onions, Keen’s 11th CD nevertheless sustains a winning streak of highly individual and creative mid-career work.

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