Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Hank Williams III

  • Risin' Outlaw [Curb, 1999] B+
  • Lovesick, Broke and Driftin' [Curb, 2002] **
  • Straight to Hell [Bruc, 2006] *

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Risin' Outlaw [Curb, 1999]
Unlike so many musical scions, he's got the equipment--songs he wrote, songs he didn't write, lonesome whine, pissed-off groove, rebel drawl, rebel attitude. But except when it comes to devil's daughters, he lacks the power to convince anyone that he's reinventing rather than reclaiming--that this is expression as well as art. "I plan on livin' long," he boasts, and that's something to brag about. But sometimes there's a cost. B+

Lovesick, Broke and Driftin' [Curb, 2002]
he can sing the greats and write enough to stay in the room ("Atlantic City," "Lovesick, Broke and Driftin'") **

Straight to Hell [Bruc, 2006]
"Kid Rock don't come from where I come from"--and, oh yeah, "if you thought so goddamn you're fucking dumb" ("Pills I Took," "Thrown Out of the Bar"). *