Chris Willman
April 18, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Just Us Kids

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
James McMurtry
genre
Rock

We gave it an A-

The protest songs on Just Us Kids, particularly ”Cheney’s Toy,” will hog all the attention, but they’re the least of this roots rocker’s treasures here. It’s James McMurtry’s brilliant character sketches that really shine — starting with the hilarious, poignant title track, which follows high school slackers through dotcom busts and divorce and middle-aged delinquency, as they wonder how their epic life wound up being such ”a damn short movie.” Or if great storytelling isn’t your bag, maybe it’s better just to sell you on his steamy Texas roadhouse-rumble sound, which is draw enough. A-
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”Freeway View” and the rest of the album on Amazon

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