Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

John Prine: Common Sense [Atlantic, 1975]
Despite the singer's lax manner, these songs are anything but throwaways. Nor are they self-imitations. Prine customarily strives for coherence, but this time he has purposely (and painfully) abjured it. He seems to regret this at one point--during a more or less cogent lament for a dead friend--but the decision was obviously unavoidable. It results in the most genuinely miserable album I've heard in years. A-