Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Bellamy Brothers: Howard and David [Curb, 1986]
The untoward success of Dwight Yoakam sent me scurrying to my shelves to compare and contrast. And from next big purist Pake McEntire to last big expurists the Judds, from Hollywood celeb Kenny Rogers to Nashville everyman Mel McDaniel, from who-he? T. Graham Brown to whoo-ee Waylon Jennings, these harmonizing eclectics were as good as I could find. Which ain't great and never has been, but will do. No matter its pretensions, all country music has the same primary reward: tuneful variations on the verities of the ordinary. The second side, which proceeds from a Marshall Crenshaw cover to the generic paradox of "I Would Lie for Your Love" to the rueful "Old Hippie" to filler, is exemplary. B+