"Let's do something wonderful," BEAVER NELSON sings in his new album's opener, "Let's do something grand/Let us build a monument/That we don't understand." He knows more than he lets on. There are reasons Nelson is not a star, and none of them have anything to do with the songs he writes. In that regard, he's as gifted as they come. With sharp wordplay and a rock edge, Nelson's forceful voice delivers melodic pop smarts. But the Austinite was chewed up and spit out by the music industry in his early twenties; he's overcompensated ever since, and his albums have been low-fi roots-rock affairs. MOTION (Freedom), his fifth, takes a step up, and it's as enjoyable a set as you're likely to encounter this year. Though it's still unlikely to make the Clear Channel hit list, this is music impossible to dismiss and even harder to forget.

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