Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Randy Travis: No Holdin' Back [Warner Bros., 1989]
Travis doesn't get lucky on this one, which is dragged like most country albums by its quota of ordinary--maybe "Singing the Blues" should be ceded permanently to Guy Mitchell. But after kicking off with a Richard Perry-produced "It's Just a Matter of Time" that apes and aces Brook Benton's original, side two reminds us why Travis is currently the genre's ranking pro--the tunes and turns just keep on coming. B+