Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Waylon Jennings: Ultimate Waylon Jennings [RCA Nashville/BMG Heritage, 2004]
Beyond "outlaw," nobody ever specifies what Jennings does and doesn't do with his strained, resonant, masculine baritone--his "Me and Bobby McGee" is uglier than Kristofferson's. But on sure shots you can forgive him his pain. Highlights include the belated "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand" and the wounded "The Taker," a Kris Kristofferson gem about a lady some other slimeball done wrong. For those who think BMG's title-by-title reissue program makes less sense than the Black Sabbath box (although I've Always Been Crazy sounds sane enough). [Recyclables]