Vic Chesnutt and Mr. And Mrs. Keneipp Merriment

After being overwhelmed by Lambchop on his last collaborative effort, the disappointing The Salesman and Bernadette, Vic Chesnutt returns to a lower-key affair for his seventh record. This time he hooks up with Jack Logan sidefolk Kelly and Nikki Keneipp, who wrote all the piano-based music, leaving the lyrics and vocal duties up to Chesnutt. The music is decent enough, but still doesn't match Chesnutt's own melodic gifts, which we last heard in full force on 1997's About to Choke. His lyrics, however, are still memorable: "She fluttered her lids/ and I hit the skids/ she shook her head/ and my innards bled/ cut the crap/ you're spoiling my frappe," ("Preponderance"). Hardcore Chesnutt fans should track it down; everyone else should wait for his next proper record. (Backburner)