Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Aaron Tippin

  • Greatest Hits . . . and Then Some [RCA, 1997] *
  • Ultimate Aaron Tippin [RCA Nashville/BMG Heritage, 2004] A-
  • In Overdrive [Country Crossing, 2009] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Greatest Hits . . . and Then Some [RCA, 1997]
as prole as Music Row gets ("Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio," "Cold Gray Kentucky Morning") *

Ultimate Aaron Tippin [RCA Nashville/BMG Heritage, 2004]
A corporate pilot who went showbiz during the first Bush's recession, Tippin broke with the undeniable "You've Got to Stand for Something," a defense of the first Bush's Iraq war that can apply to any principled behavior--"You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything," right, and just who stood and who fell this time? Ditched by RCA during a preemptive 1999 downsizing, he opened a convenience store-gun shop while awaiting the chance to unleash his grandiose, jingoistic "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly," eventually a big hit for George W. Bush and Hollywood Records. But this decline need not concern us here. The latest and best of four competing BMG collections shows off Tippin's serrated high edge, impolite drawl, and unchurched ways. The songs earn titles like "Working Man's Ph.D.," "Honky-Tonk Superman," "She Feels Like a Brand New Man Tonight," and "There Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio" (about a car, not the radio). "My Blue Angel" and Billy Swan's "I Can Help" argue his romantic side, and so does "A Door," I guess. But when Tippin sings "A door ain't nothing but a way to get through a wall," I sure wonder why the two of us can't build one. A-

In Overdrive [Country Crossing, 2009]
First he's a tradition-conscious trucker preserving the global warming equivalent of the railroad song, then he springs "Drill Here, Drill Now" on us ("The Ballad of Danger Dave and Double Trouble," "Chicken Truck"). *