Before anyone gets the idea that Rodney Crowell is using his latest recording to open up about his peculiar after-show escapades, the subject matter of Sex & Gasoline actually deals with gender politics and religious fundamentalism at a time when our fossil-fuel-based economy is in a downward spiral. However, spelling all of that out on the album sleeve wouldn't make for such a catchy title.
That's not to say that the tender love songs have been left out of the mix, because it's not really a Rodney Crowell album without a messy romance and a little heartache to go with it. Even though I'd prefer to hear Crowell rocking out, he could do much worse than get introspective and funky as he does on this Joe Henry-produced small combo session involving Doyle Bramhall II, Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren and David Pilch. It's still way more insightful and engaging than anything you'll likely hear coming out of Nashville.