Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Mark Chesnutt

  • Longnecks and Short Stories [MCA, 1992] *
  • Greatest Hits [Decca, 1995] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Longnecks and Short Stories [MCA, 1992]
the cliches tuneful, the jokes better, it was ever thus ("Old Flames Have New Names," "Bubba Shot the Jukebox") *

Greatest Hits [Decca, 1995]
Chesnutt's claim to authenticity is that he grew up in Beaumont like George Jones and cut a lot of dud 45s like his daddy before him--not that he came out of the East Texas that produced the music, but that he came out of the music East Texas produced. Forget it, Mark--you're Nashville. On your breakthrough single you hang out in the honky tonk as an alternative to playing golf. On your breakthrough tearjerker you only wish you could wilt as many bouffants as that fat wimp Garth. And on your best-of you put on your hits one at a time and see if they stand up. The tearjerkers deserve more juice, but somebody up there knows how to pick 'em. And when it comes to working-class hell-raisers like "It Sure Is Monday" and the immortal "Bubba Shot the Jukebox," you're the bully of the town. A-