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Life Is Messy is Rodney Crowell's 7th studio album that was released on May 19, 1992 by Columbia Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. It's Not For Me To Judge 3:59
  2. What Kind Of Love 3:57
  3. Lovin' All Night 3:47
  4. Life Is Messy 4:32
  5. I Hardly Know How To Be Myself 4:42
  6. I Don't Get Better Than This 2:42
  7. Alone But Not Alone 5:05
  8. Let's Make Trouble 4:26
  9. The Answer Is Yes 4:19
  10. Maybe Next Time 4:58

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Life Is Messy" peaked at #30 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and #155 on the Billboard 200.

Critical ReceptionEdit

William Ruhlmann of Allmusic rated the album 4.5 out of 5 stars, concluding his review with: "Taken together, the songs on Life Is Messy made for a fascinating portrait of an artist at a personal and professional crossroad -- but it didn't have much to do with commercial country music circa 1992, which is what it was primarily marketed as." He also compared the songs' sounds primarily to "a pastiche of late-'50s/early-'60s pop."

Jack Hurst of the Chicago Tribune rated the album 3.5 out of 4, saying that the album had "a throbbing sound that is out on the pop-ish progressive end of the country spectrum, it treats life in all its surreal hurtfulness without neglecting its epic joys."

A less positive review came from Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly, who thought that the album showed emotional influence from Crowell's then-recent divorce from fellow singer Rosanne Cash, and highlighted the song "I Hardly Know How to Be Myself", which the two wrote, as the best song on the album. She also compared Crowell's voice favorably to Roy Orbison but added that "too many of his songs splinter into nebulousness with the occasional joltingly bad line."

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