At a time when veteran artists are either lying dormant or scrambling to cook up youth-driven ideas, Jackson Browne is simply chugging along, writing and recording the kind of songs that have long bee

At a time when veteran artists are either lying dormant or scrambling to cook up youth-driven ideas, Jackson Browne is simply chugging along, writing and recording the kind of songs that have long been his signature. There are no scratch beats or production tricks courtesy of Fred Durst, nor are there incongruous remixes featuring Ashanti or Nelly. Such a move might lessen Browne's mainstream

visibility, given today's current sales climate. But it also keeps his dignity and creative legacy intact, which is far more important in the long run. The Naked Ride Home is precisely what we need from Browne right now—or any other time, for that matter. He provides intricately drawn, often poetic pop-rock tunes that examine matters of the heart, the human condition, and the world at large. He assumes his listeners are capable of thought and emotion beyond "ooh-baby-baby" sentiments, and he seems to demand a willingness to consume arrangements that lean on good ol' fashioned piano/guitar/drums arrangements. If only a few more artists would take such a stand.—LF