I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
by Steve Earle
Released: Apr 2011
Label: New West Records
"I believe in God, and God ain't me," croons Steve Earle with the wizened humility of an alt-country legend with a nearly perfect 2:1 studio-albums-to-ex-wives ratio. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, Alive is wistful and delicate, serving expertly seasoned meat and potatoes with mercifully little sonic overreaching (no turntables!) or political haranguing: "The Gulf of Mexico" is a soulful Poguesian yarn; "Meet Me in the Alleyway" revels in Tom Waits-style seediness; and "Heaven or Hell" is a poignant duet with wife Allison Moorer, who looks like she's gonna stick, just like this disarming record.