John Hiatt has been the next big thing for so long, one must wonder what has kept him from the commercial brass ring all these years. It is certainly not his songwriting, which has grown consistently with nearly every release in his evolution from his smart-aleck one-liner days to his current astute soul searching. Y'ALL CAUGHT represents some of Hiatt's lesser-known cuts from his stay at Geffen and MCA, and is representative of his sardonic, cutting approach at that time.
Comparisons with John Mellencamp and Elvis Costello are not entirely unfounded, though even at his most biting Hiatt comes up with disarmingly open ballads that belie his sharp tongue ("She Loves the Jerk"). Converts to his more recent Nashville roots rock will undoubtedly be surprised at the presence of keyboards on many of the tracks here, surely a concession Hiatt made during the synthesizer-laden '80s. The slick surface, however, cannot remove the heartbreak of "She Said the Same Things to Me," the beauty of "Washable Ink," nor the rocking flair of "Riding With the King."
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