Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bobbie Cryner

  • Bobbie Cryner [Epic, 1993] A-
  • Girl of Your Dreams [MCA, 1996] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bobbie Cryner [Epic, 1993]
Not only does she sound like John Anderson with a higher voice and better hair, she writes. Cleverly, too, even if "This Heart Speaks for Itself" speaks for her aesthetic--stompers and weepers like "I'm Through Waitin' on You" and "I Think It's Over Now" are a decisive tad more straightforward than hook-laden Music Row koans like "The One I Love the Most." Expressing herself or exerting her professionalism, she's thoughtful and untamed, a natural-born womanist who's taking no shorts. Neotrad Nashville has not seen her like. But it will. A-

Girl of Your Dreams [MCA, 1996]
Having gone nowhere with the best pure country album by any woman this decade, Cryner cuts a purer country album--nicer, sweeter, more male-identified despite "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," an all-purpose declaration of independence she should submit to AA. And in case you doubt she's a giant killer, she leads off with "Son of a Preacher Man," which I thought Dusty and Aretha owned, and makes the sex sound like fun instead of sin. Cryner is a terrific writer--"Preacher Man" excepted, the five songs with her name on them are the five sharpest, with the devastating "You'd Think He'd Know Me Better" her subtlest addition to Nashville's family values campaign. But the reason she expects to take over the world is that's she's an equally focused singer--even more so with Tony Brown inducing her to add flashes of clarity and infusions of warmth to her natural smoke and sass. A-

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