Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Buddy Miller [extended]

  • Cruel Moon [HighTone, 1999] Neither
  • Love Snuck Up [HighTone, 2004] A-
  • Universal United House of Prayer [New West, 2004]
  • Written in Chalk [New West, 2009] **
  • Cayamo Sessions at Sea [New West, 2016] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Cruel Moon [HighTone, 1999] Neither

Buddy and Julie Miller: Love Snuck Up [HighTone, 2004]
It's a tribute to their vitality as a couple that the standouts are lovestruck on a collection that combines the better half of their duet do with cameos from their solo albums: the joyous and profane "Little Darlin'," the brave and hopeful "Wallflower," the laughing title tune, and especially the intoxicated "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast." It's a puzzlement how country convention extracts so much heartbreak from the same pair, which isn't to say that "Dirty Water" and "Out in the Rain" don't bear a credible burden of sorrow. It's a sign of how humanely they define love that they build to a miraculously averted mining disaster and a Pop Staples anthem. A-

Universal United House of Prayer [New West, 2004]
See: It Takes a Worried Man.

Buddy and Julie Miller: Written in Chalk [New West, 2009]
Partners in harmony, partners in sorrow ("Long Time," "What You Gonna Do Leroy"). **

Cayamo Sessions at Sea [New West, 2016]
Seems too easy: A-list guitarist who's also a discreetly OK singer duets selected country classics on some music cruise thing. But not one song is diminished or dull, and most of the honored guests put out. Richard Thompson kills Hank Williams's forlorn "Wedding Bells," which is his kind of song, and Elizabeth Cook sells Carl Smith's subclassic "If Teardrops Were Pennies," which is how she was raised. The always gutsy Lee Ann Womack putting her all into "After the Fire Is Gone"? Sure thing. The often dull Shawn Colvin crooning "Wild Horses"? Lucinda, work on your understatement. A-