Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Clint Black

  • Killin' Time [RCA Victor, 1989] A-
  • The Hard Way [RCA, 1992] C
  • The Greatest Hits [RCA, 1996] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Killin' Time [RCA Victor, 1989]
He's got good looks, fondly crafted songs, and a trenchant if anonymous voice, subtle even for Nashville neotraditional. Buoyantly in love on "Straight from the Factory," he quickly follows with as gracious a breakup song as you could hope to hear. Yet though she may have left him "A Better Man," he's not together enough to live without her. So for the rest of the album he spends a lot of time in bars--every one subtly and trenchantly evoked, of course. A-

The Hard Way [RCA, 1992]
Country music is for those old or repressed enough to care deeply about monogamy--one-on-one love in all its passion, comfort, consternation, impossibility, and routine. That's why I doubt the Nashville hunks have siphoned much support from Nirvana, Madonna, or Public Enemy--their targets are Richard Marx and Bryan Adams. Still, this is a sad one. Spoiled by fame or his own manly profile--he looks so craggy up against his Knots Landing wifey on the cover of People--a guy who got Nashville to notice him with terse neoclassicist regrets gets Hollywood to bank him with soggy pseudoromantic homilies. Imagine how tritely condescending "A Woman Has Her Way" could be and you'll know what sentiments Clint considers suitable to a matinee idol. C

The Greatest Hits [RCA, 1996] Neither

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