By Nina Malkin
Updated February 18, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Bent on defying the king-of-quirk title earned with Camper Van Beethoven, David Lowery launched Cracker as a no-BS band with Southern-rock leanings. On his fifth CD, Forever, he fully embraces his ”weirder” side without ousting the white-trashy one. Musicians ranging from rootsy (a former Del Lord, an ex?Mink DeVille) to radical (indie It Boy Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse) assemble on an earthy-meets-outré, smart yet accessible set that proves Lowery’s all he’s cracked up to be.