Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Marty Brown: High and Dry [MCA, 1991]
His wailing purist intensity closer to Hank than to any of the proud Hank fans who made him a gamble worth taking, Brown damn near gets across on sound alone and damn near makes it. Just before you've had it with "I'll Climb Any Mountain" (guess what he'll swim any), you realize he was astute enough to expend one of his few decent tunes on it. But soon you also notice that the chorus of "Every Now and Then," which you went along with because it was fast, does actually go: "Like a thief in the night/It cuts like a knife." Imagine Hank without hits. Pray Brown gets the knack, or buys himself a few. B+