Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Tanya Tucker: Livin' and Learnin' [MCA, 1976]
The gain in assurance and excitement should put to rest all narrow-spirited suspicions that only Billy Sherrill's cracker acumen can shape Tanya's voice. But the voice remains a dirty one, which means that those songs that broaden her appeal by forcing her to play the ingenue tend to unfocus the persona behind subtler lyrics like Sterling Whipple's "Makin' Love Don't Always Make Love Grow." Highlights: two rockers, one from Fats Domino, the other from the Eagles. B