Human Condition is Gary Bennett's first recording project since 2002, when he left trad-country favorites BR5-49 to try to break out of what he felt had become something of a musical rut. Although there's nothing here that will offend a die-hard country music fan, Bennett does seem to be enjoying his newfound freedom, although several songs reveal a strong undertow of heartache pulling from below (as the liner notes explain, Bennett tragically lost a good friend and a family member within a week of each other while this material was being prepared). The more upbeat tunes are lots of fun: the bouncy Texas swing and ebullient romanticism of "That's What I'm Here For" and the sonically unusual "Better Than This" are both good examples of Bennett at his best. But when his thoughts turn dark, the music becomes truly gripping, whether it's on the gently homesick "Heading Home" or on "My Illusion," a deceptively straightforward-sounding number that hides sharply observed and almost cynical lyrics behind a carefully constructed camouflage of weepy steel guitar and a soaring chorus. True, "Things That Mean a Lot to Me" sounds like Jimmy Buffett getting maudlin after a few too many margaritas, but it's pleasant enough, and it's the closest thing there is to a disappointment on this very fine album.
Performance CreditsGary Bennett Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Marty Stuart Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Lloyd Green Pedal Steel Guitar
R.S. Field Percussion,Electric Bass,Omnichord,Fuzz Bass
Jimmy Lester Percussion,Drums
Kenny Vaughan Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Mark Winchester Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Upright Bass
Pat Bergeson Harmonica
Richard McLaurin Banjo,Wurlitzer,Vocal Harmony
Technical CreditsR.S. Field Producer,Audio Production
Gary Bennett Arranger
Richard McLaurin Engineer
Adam Bednarik Engineer
Chris Kro Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Human Condition based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is the country album I've been looking for for some time now. Gary writes great songs & the band he's put together for this recording is simply outstanding. I can't say enough about Kenny Vaughan - he's an amazing guitar player! Gary's voice has the ability to rock any honky tonk on a Saturday night but bring the house down to a somber tear just as quick. Human Condition covers all the bases and has me longing for more country albums that sound this way. While I sincerely missed him when he departed BR549 back a few years ago, it was well worth the wait to get this album out of him. Good luck Gary & I hope to see you out on the road this summer.