On his second Lucky Dog offering, Texas songsmith Charlie Robison manages to up his commercial ante while in no way sacrificing his scruffier tendencies—or his considerable sense of humor.

On his second Lucky Dog offering, Texas songsmith Charlie Robison manages to up his commercial ante while in no way sacrificing his scruffier tendencies—or his considerable sense of humor. "Right Man for the Job" is all twangy machismo, and "The Wedding Song" is sweet Hill Country romance. Robison is clearly not targeting radio on such cuts as "The Preacher," a left-of-center take on sin and redemption. The most radio-friendly cut is the melodic, uptempo "I Want You Bad," but the leering "Life of the Party" is a heck of a lot more fun. Robison is an excellent storyteller, with well-drawn, roughhewn characters and keen observational skills in songs such as the rough-and-tumble "John O'Reilly" and the clever bullshit-artist saga "One in a Million." With his work a rare blend of barroom bluster, romance, and skillful songwriting, Robison has put together a killer album—one that could raise his profile considerably.—RW