Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Gram Parsons: GP [Reprise, 1973]
In which Parsons stakes his claim to everything he loves about country music--its bathos, its moral fervor, its sense of peril. Whether he's replicating these qualities in his own songs or finding them in the genuine article, his interpretations achieve the synthesis of skepticism and longing that drove him to devise country-rock in the first place. Physically, he isn't always up to what he knows--that's a folkie's voice cracking on "She"--but he can be proud that the only track here that beats Tompall Glaser's "Streets of Baltimore" is his own "Kiss the Children." B+