Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Linda Ronstadt: Silk Purse [Capitol, 1970]
This ought to be a good record. She's tough (and sexy) live, and she sure does pick good tunes--Mickey Newbury's new-Nashville "Are My Thoughts With You?," which in Newbury's 45-rpm version has gotten a lot of play on my bedroom jukebox, says a lot about love and its dislocations, but so does Mel Tillis's old-Nashville "Mental Revenge," which I'd never heard before. Country material over rock-flavored arrangements is the concept, and the honky vulgarity of Ronstadt's voice the reason. But only occasionally--"Lovesick Blues" and "Long Long Time" are both brilliant--does she seem to find Kitty Wells's soul as well as her timbre. B