Jody Rosen
March 02, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

My Name is Buddy

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ry Cooder
Producers
Nonesuch
genre
Country

We gave it a C+

Indefatigable genre-hopper Ry Cooder gets weirdness points for this one: My Name is Buddy is a concept album about the death of the American working class starring a cat named Buddy. Cooder’s guitar work is lyrical as always, but the songs, steeped in Depression-era sounds and imagery, are oppressively cutesy and faux naive — a theme-park ramble through the Anthology of American Folk Music, with Cooder singing in a gratingly phony yokel’s drawl. Listeners seeking homespun lefty anthems are advised to check out buzzworthy up-and-comer Woody Guthrie.

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