Indicative of Robbie Fulks
' sly sense of humor, The Very Best of Robbie Fulks
is nothing of the sort, but a collection of tracks culled from EPs, promos, limited-release 45s, soundtracks, and various obscure compilations. While much of the material is probably meant to be a little more fun than serious, with Fulks
adding humorous self-effacing humor in the liner notes, there is some truly first-rate material here. The very strong country ballad "I Just Want to Meet the Man" and the frantic mock rockabilly of "Roots Rock Weirdoes" make for very entertaining listening. "Parallel Bars," a nice duet with Kelly Willis
, and the catchy straightforward rock of "Wedding of the Bugs" also should not be missed. "That Bangle Girl," which Fulks
mentions as being a personal favorite, is an absolutely essential piece of sharp country-rock bliss that ranks well with anything he's ever written. While everything here may not always be in the best taste (the rather low-brow "White Man's Bourbon" comes to mind), the material is generally consistent enough for it to be possible that a few first-time listeners could mistake this for an actual greatest-hits collection.