Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2004-09-28

2004-09-28

Waylon Jennings: Ultimate Waylon Jennings (RCA Nashville/BMG Heritage, 2004) Beyond "outlaw," nobody ever specifies what Jennings does and doesn't do with his strained, resonant, masculine baritone--his "Me and Bobby McGee" is uglier than Kristofferson's. But on sure shots you can forgive him his pain. Highlights include the belated "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand" and the wounded "The Taker," a Kris Kristofferson gem about a lady some other slimeball done wrong. For those who think BMG's title-by-title reissue program makes less sense than the Black Sabbath box (although I've Always Been Crazy sounds sane enough). [Recyclables]

Buddy Miller: Universal United House of Prayer (New West, 2004) See: It Takes a Worried Man.

Dwight Yoakam: The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam (Reprise/Rhino, 2004) Although there was no such thing as purist honky tonk before Yoakam came along, now there is, and in controlled doses it's as sharp as the crease in his crotch. The 20 selections never tail off, and neither does Yoakam's voice as it transports Buck Owens from the flats of Bakersfield to the Blue Ridge mountains of your mind. [Recyclable]

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