This 13-song set of instrumentals purports to explore, in Kottke's words, "lifetimes or moments...that have not only endured but prevailed against the test of Pink." Chuck Pink, that is -- a personified force of self-censorship and blame. Kottke's always been good at tagging his songs with quirky titles, and Chuck Pink is no exception, with tunes like "I Yell at Traffic," "Dog Quiver," and "Theme From Doodles." The bouncy "Busy Signal" was nominated for a Grammy in the instrumental country category. As a whole, the vibe is somewhat lighter in touch, leaning toward jazz and new age shadings with splashes of synth guitar, violin, and electronic woodwinds for accompaniment. Buell Neidlinger's production touches earmark it as an '80s album slanted for crossover appeal to a new age audience, yet Kottke hasn't dumbed down his style to pander to the meditating masses. Although Chuck Pink doesn't have the fire in the belly of his earlier work, Kottke hasn't lost his feel for a catchy rhythmic groove and his interpretive reach has grown over the years. Nowhere is this more evident than when he revisits the lovely "Ojo" from his first album. This time out, the reading is more sensitive, deeper in understanding.
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AllMusic Review by Jim Esch