Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Tim McGraw

  • Not a Moment Too Soon [Curb, 1994] C+
  • A Place in the Sun [Curb, 1999] Choice Cuts
  • Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors [Warner Bros., 2002] C+
  • Let It Go [Curb, 2007] Choice Cuts
  • Southern Voice [Curb, 2009] Choice Cuts
  • Sundown Heaven Town [Big Machine, 2014] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Not a Moment Too Soon [Curb, 1994]
McGraw draws his phony drawl so tight he sounds like a singing penis--one of those guys who can make his prepuce mime the Pledge of Allegiance when his boner is right. He got interested in country when he heard about farmer's daughters, and learned everything he knows about Choctaws and Chippewas from Chief Nokahoma. Still hasn't outearned his daddy, though. C+

A Place in the Sun [Curb, 1999]
"She'll Have You Back" Choice Cuts

Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors [Warner Bros., 2002]
Unlike his wife Faith, McGraw committed no egregious sonic offenses on his way to the top of the country charts, and given the kneejerk disdain Middle America elicits from my bicoastal cohort, I'd as soon leave him alone. But in a nation polarized far more cynically and effectively by the ruling class than the shallowest alt ideologue could dream, he has to be called on his love song to a Lady Liberty whose America includes no urban places, on his imperialist assumption that Mexico is for runaway spouses ha ha, even on his domestic bedrock, as if that's as socially responsible as rugged individualism need be. And then there's the matter of "Who Are They," which goes so far as to blame "safe sex" and the replacement of "what the hell" by "what the heck" (I swear) on the owners of this newspaper (honest, named as such), called "funny boys" when he means "faggots" because "They" so decree. Fuck that. I don't much like how David Schneiderman treats unions, but I'm here to tell Timbo that my boss is a better family man than any damn country roadhog. "I wonder if They like to fight," muses Timbo on his way to finding out where "They" live. Me, I use my words. If any Nashville thug lays a hand on me, I'll sue him within 50 cents of his ignorant life. C+

Let It Go [Curb, 2007]
"I'm Workin'" Choice Cuts

Southern Voice [Curb, 2009]
"Southern Voice," "You Had to Be There" Choice Cuts

Sundown Heaven Town [Big Machine, 2014]
Overbearing when he rocks, quite the charmer when he doesn't ("Meanwhile Back at Mama's," "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools") *