Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Roger Miller

  • Dear Folks Sorry I Haven't Written Lately [Columbia, 1973] D-
  • King of the Road [Epic, 1992] ***
  • Oh Boy Classics Presents Roger Miller [Oh Boy, 2000] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dear Folks Sorry I Haven't Written Lately [Columbia, 1973]
I mourned Miller's writing block actively; now I wish it would come back. He's turned into one more Nashville sentimentalist. Example: This album transforms "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died" into "My Mother Used to Love Me But She Died" and adds superfluous soulettes. D-

King of the Road [Epic, 1992]
not enough novelties ("Dang Me," "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd") ***

Oh Boy Classics Presents Roger Miller [Oh Boy, 2000]
Includes remakes and demos, apparently, but still, who better than John Prine to finally do right by this extremely professional Nashville eccentric the Ramones had nothing on-16 songs in 35 minutes, half of them comic and half of the rest lighthearted? You know "King of the Road" with its "rooms to let 50 cents" if not the even more dated "England Swings," plus maybe two unlikely Top 10 pop hits from 1964: the underage drinker's how-de-doo "Chug a Lug" and the hairy-ass new dad's lament "Dang Me." But there are plenty of others. A Kansas City star, you oughta see his car, Miller was a singer as well as a songwriter, and he could also hiccup and gargle and yodel and flap his lips. He couldn't rollerskate in a buffalo herd. But he could be happy when he'd a mind to. A-