Three albums in, Austin-based country-rockers Micky & the Motorcars have their sound down cold: not really post-Uncle Tupelo alt-country, Careless doesn't sound much like the '70s outlaw country genre either. Instead, the blend of Springsteen and Willie that's at the heart of the Micky & the Motorcars' sound is a direct descendent of the roots rockers of the mid-'80s: the Long Ryders, Green on Red and their many imitators blended fairly faint, safe hints of country into an otherwise straightforward brand of anthem-heavy bar band rock. That's also a fairly comprehensive review of Careless, since aside from the pronounced twang in lead singer Micky Braun's vocals and the slide guitars in tracks like "From Rock Springs to Cheyenne," this is nothing more than better than average blue-collar rock & roll with a hint of Texas for spice. Braun and his bandmates luckily forgo the temptation to do the sort of outright impersonations of their influences that is the bane of the bar band, and most importantly, they wisely resist any hint of the sort of white-guy-blooze that has sunk so many similar records. Other than these commendable self-limitations, however, the songs on Careless are mostly pleasant but not particularly memorable. The ballad "Long & Lonely Highway" is indicative: it's a lovely tune, expertly arranged and featuring some fine harmonica work. However, the lyrics are deadening clichés so banal that a listener who has heard more than two or three lost-love country ballads will be able to finish singing the lines before Braun does. Originality isn't a key component of this form of music, of course, but it'd be nice to see a band make a bit more of a lyrical effort than this.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason