Bruce Robison

Bruce Robison

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Vireo Records, the independent label that released Bruce Robison's self-titled album, is located in Austin, TX, an address that usually suggests highly individual Texas singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Bruce Robison is not one of them. He's a songwriter, to be sure, and a good singer with an appropriate twang in his voice. But Robison's songs are not personal statements of a unique world-view. On the contrary, they are songs with formulas both in terms of their traditional country arrangements and in their subject matter, concerning romantic and sentimental situations. In this sense, the dateline should be Nashville, not Austin. But as it happens, Robison's self-written country songs are at least a cut above what tends to come out of Nashville. If he writes to formula, he has the formulas down pat, and his craftsmanship assures that the clich├ęs sound fresh. He comes up with good catch phrases, such as "Angry All the Time," his song about a marriage on the rocks, and "Match Made in Heaven," the umpteenth song about a one-night stand. His performances of these songs are good, but it's hard not to imagine what a major country star with a distinctive style could do with them. Bruce Robison is, in essence, a country music song publishing demo writ large. It should be sent to the offices of all the major Nashville record labels so they can pick and choose its songs as vehicles for their artists. (In 2001, Tim McGraw covered "Angry All the Time" for a number-one country hit; the Dixie Chicks took "Travellin Soldier" [aka "Travelin' Soldier"] to number one on the country charts in 2003.)

blue highlight denotes track pick