Christine Lavin has gained a rep as a seriously funny gal, and Sometimes Mother Really Does Know Best, recorded live in Colorado Springs, will do nothing to change that. As with Subway Series in 2001, Lavin's heady mix of humor and intelligence works best before a live audience, sort of like a standup comic with a guitar. In fact, she mixes in spoken monologues between her songs, asking penetrating questions like -- why in the heck is a Bob Dylan song adorning a Victoria's Secret ad? Her satire on pieces like "Strangers Talk to Me" and "Wind Chimes" is more gentle than mean-spirited as she makes witty observations on her life as a traveling musician and the foibles of middle-class love. There's a bizarre a cappella piece titled "The Tocobel Canon" (read: Taco Bell), the type of choral piece Bach might have written had he lived in the 21st century and hawked his wares to the highest bidder. A number of these songs, like "Ballad of a Ballgame," have been drawn from earlier works (Beau Woes and Other Problems of Modern Life), while longtime fans will also enjoy new material like the title cut. The longest piece on the album is the epic "The Legal Ramifications of a Crackerjack Vendor Who Works in Yankee Stadium," the results of an attempt to honor the oldest Crackerjack vendor at the stadium only to be met with possible legal ramifications. For those who like their singer/songwriter observations laced with a big dose of humor, Lavin's Sometimes Mother Really Does Know Best will more than fit the bill.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.