Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mike Nesmith & the First National Band: Loose Salute [RCA Victor, 1970]
In which Nesmith continues his transmutation into Gram Parsons for television fans, or the Jimmy Rodgers of Sunset Strip. I'm beginning to suspect that he takes his meandering thoughts and marble columns in the sky more seriously than they deserve. But his songwriting gifts are at a peak on this amalgam of gimmicks and mannerisms, long-vowel articles and near-yodels and electronic excursions and alien rhythms. At its best, sublime schlock; at its worst, downhome kitsch. B+