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John Prine

John Prine

1971

John Prine

Album Summary

John Prine is the debut album by American country/folk singer-songwriter John Prine, issued by Atlantic Records in 1971. In 2012, the album was ranked number 452 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was later ranked number 149 in a revised version of the list published in 2020.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.17

Votes

4558

Genres

  • Country
  • Folk
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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4

Well, country really isn't my genre. Not by a long shot. So I wasn't thrilled to get this album. But I hit play with as open a mind as I could and, wouldn't you know it, it didn't suck. It's still SUPER not my genre, don't get me wrong. But Prine's lyrics are clever and funny and so sharp they cut. It's amazing to me that this album came out in '71 and still feels so daggum relevant. Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore is painful in its relevance. COVID-19 took Prine from us this past year and that also feels too close for comfort. What a debut album.

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5

Man I love this album. I'm a bit biased as I was raised on John Prine, but even so, what a story teller. The humor he brings along with the poignancy of his lyrics about the human experience. This album is his least polished, but also feels like the most honest.

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4

What a lyricist and storyteller. I was glued to hearing each line. The music is classic country, with a Dylanesque timbre, but his words are what sold me.

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5

Amazing album from front to back. He's basically a country Bob Dylan. This is what country music sounds like when it's good.

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5

Your Flag Decal

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5

John Pine is a legend and this album is a treasure.

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5

John Prime’s lyrics are so beyond what I might have assumed from the young man pictured on the album cover. “Illegal Smile” reminds me of a simple way to escape troubles in life. The clever lyrics can in one moment make you laugh and cry. ‘Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down and won’. By the first chorus of “Spanish Pipedream” I'd added the album to my library. “Hello In There “ is so beautiful… left me in tears. Then “Sam Stone” followed that up with a devastating song about the impact of veteran's addiction. Every song overflows truth with an emotional heft that can change you as a listener. John Prine tackles war, government, jingoism, aging, drugs, depression, relationships, the environment and a host of other topics with perceptive and unflinching observations of humans and humanity. The organ warms itself against the stark lyrics. The guitars wander from folk to country with occasional touches of rock to elevate the stories. Every song on this album is a gem. Experiencing them together as an album is a powerful and emotional experience. This is an album that will connect you more deeply to your humanity if you are willing to listen. An amazing work of art that I will listen to again and again. RIP John Prine

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5

I really liked this. I mean it was folk country, but God damn if you don't hear some punk underpinnings in this you aren't listening. This is the kind of music that makes me proud of being an American, without me having to have pride in my government, and be able to criticize the nation without losing my love for it.

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5

While the music is unremarkable, it is simply the backdrop to a masterpiece collection of folk poetry. Folk music is at its purest in protest, and on this record, Prine protests war, nationalistic jingoism, and the misapplication of Christian values. Reading the lyrics, one can't help but notice the more things change, the more they stay the same. Consider politicians with their little flag lapel pins as you listen to "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore. Prine, of course, throws a few apolitical and melancholy songs about lost love and heartache for good measure. He does it all with clever flourishes and a sense of humor, too. It is beautiful. I laughed, I cried, I clicked the little heart icon.

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4

Really dig this album. Illegal Smile is a gem of a song.

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3

Man. He’s not happy about war.

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5

Great song writing

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5

One of Prine's best albums, this is the country side of Dylan, but on the side that has inspired so many great alternative country and indie-folk bands. This is simple music with an attitude, a huge sense of humor and sarcasm, this is the way it should be done. Prine was an ignored artist most of his life, but at least his music became appreciated before we lost him to Covid-19. Prine will be sorely missed.

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5

What a solid slice of Americana. I could get behind this country music

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5

THE BEST EVER RIP SIR

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5

Pretty damm good

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5

Surprisingly really good. And I noticed that after I found out it's not technically country I liked it better, which is something I need to work on.

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5

An album I've been very fond of for a while now. Prine for me is a songwriter that transcends his genre, and connects with something primal and human. Lovely stuff. If country music is the music of the people, then there's none more country than this.

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5

Top 10 all-time album.

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5

Soprendendente. Maravilloso... Make me an angel...

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5

Stands up af. Major flashbacks to Vassar howdowns.

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5

Prine always amazing.

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5

Classic.

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5

Country / Folk Wow, this is hilarious. Solid songwriting - made me laugh out loud multiple times. Every song is golden.

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5

It took me a couple of listens to warm up to this album, but it's impossible not to feel its considerable charms if you stop and listen. The fact that this a debut album from a man who was 24 years old when he recorded it makes it even more remarkable. Singers can work for decades without reaching Prine's depth as a songwriter and natural talent for delivering a line. These are songs that have become standards in the 50 years since they came out, and you can hear Prine in practically every singer-songwriter who came after him. He exudes warmth, wry wit, and sensitivity with such ease in these songs. You know, I first caught "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" before I had really heard of Prine and I assumed it was some sort of post 9/11 song. No, it's just a sad testament to the fact that this nation perennially fails to learn from its mistakes. It's also a pretty brutal takedown of false patriotism, all the more cutting for how he delivers it with humor. "Sam Stone" and "Paradise" also highlight how the problems of 50 years ago are still somehow the problems of today and remain fresh all these years later. Favorite songs: Quiet Man, Angel from Montgomery, Far from Me.

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5

nossa, audição muito facilitada, incrível o album

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5

Incredible song writer. Even better storyteller. Josh Ritter, Dylan, Prine. He's in high cotton here.

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5

Great lyricist. Sam stone is a great song

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5

The first two songs I learned to play on the guitar are "Paradise" and "Angel From Montgomery". Prine is one of the great songwriters. For a debut album, you can see that he already had an old soul. I need to add "Hello in There" to my list of songs that I can play. (Brandi Carlile did a great version of that track on Colbert - check it out). I've heard this album all the way through more than once, and so many of the songs dozens of times. I was lucky enough to see Prine in concert once, and so many performances on TV. RIP John.

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5

Loved it. Saved forever

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5

This record broke my heart and made me laugh out loud. He's a genuine poet and a heck of a story-teller. I loved pretty much every track (even Pretty Good with its glib mention of dog rape (WTH???)). This kind of album is the reason I'm here.

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5

Embarrassingly, this was an introduction to me. I only knew the song "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore." I did realize that I'd heard a few of the other songs, whether performed by John Prine or other artists, but I was so delighted to spend my time with this one. Another walking into work smiling kind of day after listening on my commute. I'm having trouble thinking he was 25 when he recorded this. His voice sounds like he's been around and seen a lot more. There's something special about a song that's so clever or poignant you want to listen to it again and again, and by as many artists as you can find performing it. These songs all feel that way. (And I did.) I've missed out. I wish there were a voice like his in modern day music. We need it.

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5

I never thought I consider giving a country album 5 stars. Maybe it’s the content I usually dislike as much as the delivery? This unpatriotic antiwar album works for me.

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5

I'd never even heard of this guy before this morning! Lol. I understand he's big in the States... I love the album. Added to my portable music player before I'd even finished listening to it, and will definitely check out more of his stuff.

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5

Beautiful. Just absolutely immersive listening. This is storytelling and songwriting. This is not folk. This isn't bluegrass. This isn't country. It's John Prine and this is music I can get behind. Highlight Tracks: ALL

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5

John Prine is pretty good.

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5

A fantastic reminder of how good country music can be.

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5

Ahhh, the eponymous debut of a terrific song writer. The themes here may diverge from one another, but on the whole it plays like a greatest hits record. Prine swings for the fences here and connects on nearly every song. I suppose it makes sense - he had his whole life to write the songs that appeared here, and it shows in everything from the musical arrangements to the turns of lyrical phrase. I must admit that I've never cared for his voice, but he delivers the songs earnestly and with feeling. Top notch for the genre.

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5

Excellent guitar, good balance of songs equally witty, powerful, emotional. I love John Prime. RIP

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5

Great storyteller

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5

Very good country album

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5

How have I never heard this album? Great from beginning to end. Albums like tis is why I'm here.

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5

An American treasure.

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5

lovely album, phoebe bridgers must be inspired by this

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5

Just as relevant now as then. Excellent

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5

This is a stellar album. Prine can tell a visual story with just his words and is one of the strongest songwriters of the era. Really excellent album, and glad I got to listen to it again.

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5

John Prine is an American treasure. While he always praised for his witty humor, it's his almost gut punch emotional songs on this album that get, Hello in There and especially Sam Stone, wow just powerful stuff. Yeah this deserves to on the list.

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5

Most underrated singer songwriter of all time!

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5

Such a talented lyricist. I listened to each song as if I was watching a movie, waiting to see what. Happens next. The story telling, he makes it so visual and through it all, even in the saddest tracks, he places humor just right. Amazing

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5

I really enjoyed this more than I thought I might. The Americana that just drips off this album is so great and Anti Redneck its perfect.

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5

I'm not the biggest country fan, but this is the type of country music I enjoy. It's also cool to hear all these songs that I've heard other singers cover in later years. Really appreciate how influential John prine was

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5

Beautiful

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5

The singing mailman is one of my faves.

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5

cool

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5

Haven’t listened to much folk but this was some of the best folk music I’ve ever heard. Loved the general vibe and the lyrics.

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5

Only heard of him recently after his passing. RIP Excellent album

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5

One of my personal favorites, I know every word to every song on this album. My dad played John Prine records all through my childhood. Prine was an American treasure, one of the greatest song writers ever. This album is perfect. Favorite track: Paradise

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5

And this is his FIRST album. Jesus Christ, what a talent.

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5

Bit of a surprise, worth revisiting

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5

such a good vibe

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4

Great lyricism. Must listen country album

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4

4/19 Great songwriting, some somber songs delivered lightly. Standout Tracks: Hello In There, Sam Stone, Pretty Good, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore, Six O'Clock News

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4

I did not know him before. Love the sound.

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4

Spanish Pipedream and Sam Stone are highlights

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4

var faktiskty bra

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4

Social commentary and protest songs in a country style! I really liked this. Pretty Dylan-esque. Fave track - "Sam Stone" - mainly because Spiritualized lifted some of the lyrics for one of my all time fave tracks "Cop Shoot Cop" from "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" and hearing them in the original song was one of those "oooh, so _that's_ where that came from" moments!

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4

You know, these nasally folk artists can be tough to listen all the way through for yours truly. I really enjoyed the vibe of the album from start to finish, I try to absorb the scene being painted for me. And eventually the nose faded away and I just relaxed into it.

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4

Illegal Smile has me hopeful about this album. I'm liking this wayyyyy more than Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks. Sam Stone is a great tune. Your Flag Decal would be a good punk cover song.

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4

Some songs are catchy, mesmo não sendo meu estilo

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4

Wow. What an introduction to someone I have never heard before. Every song was really good

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4

catchy, comedic, and wistful. like a funnier bob dylan perhaps

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4

Much better than expected. Reminded me of Bob Dylan. Would listen to it again.

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4

Love Mr Prine! This was an awesome listen

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4

This album is an American classic! It's fire folk-country that represents Appalachia to the Mississippi river. There's a mix of sad songs and happy songs, but all of them are great and have a story to tell. John Prine had a perfect country singer voice and I'm sad I never knew about him until now. RIP

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4

F*** Toby Keith, this is real country music.

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4

Classic country with some great tunes

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4

Great song writing.

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4

What a surprise! Country, dude sitting on a hay bale - but themes of environmental devastation and crippling heroin addiction in blunt lyrics that would be funny if they weren't depressing.

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4

I actually like this quite a bit. I had pretty low expectations with a country record, but I was surprised by the songwriting and nostalgic feel of the album. Highlights: 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, and 13.

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4

Nice.

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4

Pretty good old school country; I'm not big on country but this is just a guy and a guitar and he's got some great lyrics. Not over the top party songs like the new country, but has a bluesy tone. Pretty Good actually kind of reminds me of The Hip in some of its lyrics. Back half is a lot slower, definitely liked the first half more.

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4

Quite liked this. The lyrics were great.

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4

This is a great album. This style of folk/country music can get repetitive but every track here is solid despite this. Don't know how anyone can listen to "Angel From Montgomery" without crying.

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4

superb. love the sound / voice / production. Couple of weaker tunes make it a 4.

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4

Hell yeah

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4

Man, he can tell a story. Best track: Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

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4

En general no me gusta mucho la música folk/country, pero este disco me llamó mucho la atención. No es sólo la música (que cuenta bastante), sino también el tono de voz, la pronunciación y la entonación, elementos que te "jalan" a escuchar la letra. La música también es notable. Por lo general el Country es más austero, por no decir tedioso (cof cof Bob Dylan), pero el arreglo de este álbum es particularmente bueno. El sonido es cálido y envolvente, muy agradable de escuchar. La canción que más me llamó la atención fue la de "Illegal Smile", por su letra. Definitivamente un disco que volvería a escuchar.

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4

De inicio me pareció muy plano, pero en la segunda escuchada me comenzó a gustar más. A ratos muy parecido a Dylan, el resto del tiempo más melódico y con mejor voz. Música agradable con buenas letras, personales. Songs: Pretty Good, Spanish Pipedream, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore, Quiet Man

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4

De nueva cuenta un cantautor con canciones tipo folk e influencia country que no conocía. Fue un descubrimiento mucho más interesante quiza que los anteriores, musicalmente no es muy distinto ni impresiona pero encuanto a sus letras y temas esta bastante por encima del promedio, temas serios con suficiente humor y talento. El disco entero es bastante entretenido rondando de la guerra, las drogas, el ambiente, relaciones y patriotismos falsos. Quizá la canciónq ue más me gustó fue Spanish Pipedream, en la que me invita a destruir mi televisión, mientras que cancinoes como "Your Flag Decal Wont Get You Into Heaven Anymore" son bastante interesantes para recordarnos que nada ha cambiado en las guerras desde Vietnam hasta ahora. Excelente artista, musicalmente no es nada novedoso pero siento no es su punto necesariamente.

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4

Goede country en blues

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4

Country folk classic. Sam Stone is one of the most sad songs ever. 7/10

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4

This is what country/folk music should be. The music is simple, but Prine's lyrics and delivery are awesome. I laughed out loud a few times, but was also impressed at how poignant some of these "stories" still are. It's protest music with a twang. I dug it.

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4

Very solid and quirky. I liked it

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4

First I literally thought I wouldn't enjoy this; then I gave it a chance... and I quite liked it. John Prine's music just seems to have this calming effect, where if you listen to it, it completely relaxes you. All the tracks are like, which ain't a bad thing. They don't necessarily flow into one another like others, it's simply a collection of country tracks. Drums, guitar and electric guitar. I liked it. Song writing can be corny at times, thought that's what makes it gold.

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4

Wow. I'm not sure if it's partially due to my current mood, but these songs are just destroying me. It's like every song is a short story or a movie. I wish I had known about John Prine back in the mid-eighties when I was in college learning to play guitar. These would have fit right into my repertoire. I can see how so many artists were influenced by him. I'm hearing Bruce Springsteen in some of these songs, Steve Earle, and even Final Cut era Pink Floyd. Now I need to dig deeper into John Prine's catalog to hear more. 4 stars.

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4

Amazing Lyrics from a gifted storyteller. The earthy minutiae of life is given compelling narrative and colour. His stories seem to question the arbitrary and brutal nature of life. Fave quote "jesus does for nothing, I suppose". Music a but wank though.

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4

Nice easy listening country music

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4

Makes folk his own

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4

His lyrics and storytelling are so well crafted, a pleasure to listen to. He takes us on a ride.

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4

Lots of fun

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4

Really good, like a country tinged Bob Dylan, but with a sense of humour!

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4

Jeden z tych albumow, gdzie chcesz sprawdzic jeden trak co to w ogole jest, a 44 minuty pozniej jestes na ostatnim i masz ochote dawac repeata, bo wlasnie z takiej strony pokazal mi sie pan John Prine na swoim debiutanckim krazku z 71, gatunkowo jest to folk z elementami country, po tym co uslyszalem jestem zdziwiony, ze wczesniej nawet nie slyszalem o tym Panu, szukajac Dylanowych brzmien, bo lirycznie jak nikt podchodzi on do jego poziomu, teksty sa zarowno barwnymi opowiesciami, ale zawieraja w sobie niekiedy wrecz moralizatorskie przeslania, bogata symbolika kamuflowana wielopoziomowymi metaforami, no i najwazniejsze autentycznosc ktora slychac plynaca z prawienia pana Johna, jednym z najbardziej przewijajacych sie motywow jest chauvinism w obliczu wojny wietnamskiej, wiec teksty traktuja zarowno o unikaniu draftowania, jak i losie weteranow, nie pomijajac takze fanatykow slepo wierzacych w wyzszosc swoich racji nad wszystkim innym, ale nie jest to konceptowy album, wiec na 13 kawalkach znajdzie sie takze miejsce na proze dnia codziennego, ktora najlepiej czuc na kawalkach jak hello in there traktujacym o tym jak wiele potrafi zmienic zaledwie dostrzezenie wokol siebie drugiego czlowieka, zwlaszcza starszego, bo czlowiek im starszy tym w mniejszym kregu ludzi sie obraca, az wreszcie sie nie obraca, tylko kroczy samotnie przez zycie, kolejnym kawalkiem mozna powiedziec sielankowym bedzie paradise, ktory jak mozna sie domyslac bedzie traktowac o najlepszym miejscu, ktore kazdy powinien miec, malej ojczyznie i o wspomnieniach zwiazanych z takim miejscem, czuc jest na tej plycie bagaz doswiadczen jakie uzbieral pan Prine przed rozpoczeciem kariery muzycznej, bo przed debiutem swoje odsluzyl w armii oraz na poczcie, jesli chodzi o strone instrumentalna plyty, to jak przystalo na country beda gitarki wszelakie, sam Prine gra tutaj na akustyku, ale na nagraniu mozna uslyszec bogate, ale jednoczesnie bardzo tradycyjne brzmienie country, wiec obok gitar bonjosy, skrzypce, tamburyny, czy klasyczne basy i drumy, ktore w polaczeniu z ostrzejszym brzmieniem gitary, jak na pretty good brzmi bardziej rokowo niz folkowo, wiec o ile nie ma tutaj elementow, ktore by rzucaly instrumentalnie na kolana, to jednak jest grane tak, ze nie przeszkadza w konsumpcji kolejnych wersow spiewanych przez pana Prina, ktory niekiedy brzmi az zbyt Dylanowo, ktory z pewnoscia byl mocna inspiracja w tworzeniu tej plyty, co do plejkowych pickow, to plyta jest tak rowna, ze ciezko cos wybrac, ale jesli musze dodac cztery kawalki, to beda to otwierajacy illegal smile, kawalek ktory nasuwa skojarzenie z uzytkownikami hehuany, a jednak pan Prine w jakims wywiadzie z 2k10 przyznal, ze jednak nie chodzi o jaranie, ale o zdrowy smiech z blizej nieokreslonego powodu, ktory najczesciej dopada pozna noca w obliczu rzeczy nowych, kolejnym kawalkiem bedzie quiet man brzmiacy mocno wagabundowo, oraz wspomniane juz hello in there i sam stone, jestem niezmiernie ciekawy czy reszta dyskografii pana Johna zespawnowala rownie jakosciowa muzyke, a co najwazniejsze czy teksty utrzymaly poziom z tego debiutanckiego krazka, bo na przestrzeni lat uzbieralo mu sie 18 studyjnych albumow za pasem, a rok temu wykonczyl sie prawdopodobnie covidowo, wiec kolejny hamerykanski wieszcz z krainy Nashville poznany

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4

I dig it

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4

Not going to lie and say I had even heard of this man prior to today and the cover had me imagining the worst but I'm glad I got to listen to this album. Musically it's pretty good, easy to listen to but not very innovative. Where it shines is the lyrics, John Prine was an incredible storyteller and was able to make me both laugh and tear up. A real surprise to see the variety and depth of topics he had chosen to write and sing about.

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4

Absolutely loved this and I'm not sure how I haven't heard of, let alone heard this before

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4

Really enjoyed this one. I remember when he passed away a few years ago, I had no idea who he was but I saw tons of praise for his work, and this album in particular. He sounds quite a bit like Bob Dylan, but with more of a country/folksy style. It's much sharper, much less mopey than traditional country (like the recent George Jones album we got). Some really engaging lyrics and storytelling, I found myself swept up in a good handful of the songs on here. The first track sounded like a bit of a parody of his own style, ending with "hot dog bun, my sister's a nun" made me laugh out loud. I didn't realize this was his debut, released when he was only 25, very impressive. Definitely into this one, a great start to the week. Favorite tracks: Sam Stone, Paradise, Angel from Montgomery, Pretty Good, Far From Me, Illegal Smile. Album cover: Very simple portrait, man on a bale of hay. You get precisely what's advertised. 4.5/5

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4

Great slow country background vibes.

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4

This had some really good song writing.

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4

niet zijn beste, maar toch 4 omdat het John is.

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4

This was way better than I was expecting. Great lyrics!

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4

göööööödshit

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4

Me ha trasladado a las carreteras de EEUU

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4

Un bon qlbum country avec un classique vraiment. Angel from montgomery. J’aime mieux quand meme les reprise de bonnie raith et aussi de tedesxhi trucks band. 4* Un album country folck qui vaut la pein.

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4

A good wit, need more time with the lyrics but I like it

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4

Really good, like a country tinged Bob Dylan, but with a sense of humour!

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4

Great album. Very soft and comfortable. The lyrics are cute and relaxing, but also nostalgic and sad sometimes. Very emotional.

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4

My co-judge pointed out the Bob Dylan similarity. Prine is a country-folk version of BD with lyrics that are, by contrast, simple to decipher but still great. Lots of humour and social commentary especially about the war that was happening at that time, in songs like Sam Stone and Flag Decal. It's a great debut album, considering he had never played with other musicians before.

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4

Always liked this album and for more than just the great songs Hello in There and Angel from Montgomery. The storytelling and language are poignant and gritty, and even the goofy bits are somehow always OK. Because he’s John Prine, that’s why. It was a sad loss when he died.

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4

Normally i don’t like this kind of county folk, but this was an exception. Because of the powerful lyrics and subject matter. It was very engaging to listen to, and I will be back.

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4

Very pretty album

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4

Quite nice album. Had a good vibe.

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4

Beautiful album. Clever and very emotional lyrics. I really love this stuff. 4

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4

bom country

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4

I'm really happy to have discovered this album, thanks to this list. Excellent country/folk with surprising lyrics and very emotional guitar playing. It's a shame I didn't knew this artist before.

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4

Really good country/folk. Love it, nice discovery

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4

Is this the best country album I've ever heard? Probably not, but this one must be in the top 10 for sure. Very nice discovery from this list (for a change).

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4

Great, great country album that mixes humor, politics and melancholy without falling into the cheesy category that so many albums of the genre gets trapped in. And to think this was his first album is quite impressive as well. I have to check out his later stuff.

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4

Took a while for the voice to grow on me. I was pretty off put when I first started listening. It grew on me, to the point that I think it was a really solid album.

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4

At album opening you fear this is some Dylan parody but you realise here is a smart guy using acerbic wit to takedown aspects of American culture and observe flaws in the American dream. Insightful, challenging and a pretty decent musician, John Prine is something of a gem.

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4

Meets all my 'likes' criterea. Music goes with lyrics goes with story.... Notable how many of these are covered by other artists.

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4

I’ve always half-assed catching up on John Prine since his passing, hitting up big tracks and not really diving into any albums other than his latest output. Fortunately, I don’t think this’ll be the last we hear of him. This is everything I could’ve asked for and more. The lyrics, his delivery of them, and the songwriting… the guy walks the walk. Love this. 4

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4

This should be up there in the “country albums for people who don’t like country” starter pack. Granted, I have warmed up to yeeha music over the years, and stuff like this is why. Incredible craftsmanship throughout, even if it is a little samey. B+

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4

I really liked this album, surprisingly. The lyrics were good, the music was good, and it sorta reminded me of Jim Croce (I don't have a lot of context for this type of music, so forgive my bad comparisons). 4/5

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4

I liked this more than I thought I would. In general it was a nice listen, with Pretty Good and Angel from Montgomery the stand outs.

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4

3.7 - solid album, great lyrics. Really enjoyed this, despite not always being so hot on the country/folk genre

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4

Really enjoyed this one

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4

Stories of lonliness, drug dependancy, etc etc, all good stories. I hate country with a passion, but this i can abide.

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4

Such raw storytelling with a funny, nasally voice. It’s like Dylan singing songs written by Bukowski. Fascinating.

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4

4/5

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4

John prine might be one of the most underrated songwriters of all time

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4

Actually a pretty good album. Kind of old school country with really good lyrics. Authentic country

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4

John Prine is a fucking dude. His lyrics are simple, funny, heartbreaking and seemingly taking the piss. This man could write. Country tinged songs with a knowing smile. He's the pub philosopher who wouldn't be a bore; the Bob Dylan you can be mates with. Best Tracks: Illegal Smile; Sam Stone; Angel From Montgomery

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4

p251. 1971. 4 stars Came cold to this and was pleasantly surprised. Lyrically sharp as a razor and some good tunes. Sounds like country-era Dylan, which isn't for everyone, but once you get past the strings and slide guitar it's terrific - there is a direct line from this to Springsteen's Nebraska. It's everything The Band aspired to and failed to deliver. Probably too country for most, but it's definitely worth a second listen.

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4

Initially just judging the album by its cover, I wasn't too sure I was going to enjoy this album. Thankfully I gave it a chance and was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure what genre this would be considered as I didn't take the time to look it up but to me it sounded almost folk country if that is a thing. Clearly listening to the lyrics and seeing when it was released you can tell it was an anti war protest album. However some of these songs are very much applicable in today's culture.

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4

Great country, like home. Just enough harmonic interest, kinda Tallest Man, more jazzy Flag Decal is amazing

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4

It's really too bad that I live in such a dogshit era for country music. I've never really had much of an appreciation for it because I came of age after most of the greats of old country music were long passed their prime. I think I would have enjoyed the genre a lot more if I was present during eras like this where you had good musicians making earnest country music, rather than the completely manufactured generic rural word salad that modern country has become. Earnest is certainly the word that I would use to describe John Prine. The album feels intimate, personal, like it's just you and him and he's really opening up to you. Then the album first started I thought it was good but not for me. As it played on, I started to enjoy it more and more. He wins you over. "There's a hole in daddy's arm where the money goes, and Jesus died for nothing I suppose" God damn 4/5

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4

Not bad for a country album.

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4

Interesting that this should come up so soon after Spiritualized's "Ladies and Gentlemen...," which nabs some lyrics. I like this as well, it's country rock with a venomous streak of 'nam-era cynicism and a biting sense of humour.

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4

Sharp lyrics

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4

A real find!

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4

What's this? A country album that I enjoyed? In this economy? This is a great album, and way more diverse than a lot of the other country albums on this list so far. Fantastic lyrics throughout as well and some cracking guitar playing

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4

This is the dichotomy of my life: I’m a sucker for the pedal steel, but I have a strong dislike for most country music. It’s a genre I can’t relate to much - I didn’t grow up with it and it can be very monolithic and same-y. Obviously not all country music sounds the same, but let’s be real, the joke about all country songs being about a) your wife leaving you, b) your truck breaking down or c) your dog dying, is funny because it’s true. As a matter of fact, the first song that auto-played after this record ended (She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere by Guy Clark) was about a guy whose wife left him. Checkmate. But the pedal steel, sweet Jesus on a skateboard, what an absolutely beautiful sounding instrument. It can be sad sounding, but also uplifting and understatedly psychedelic. For lack of a better phrase, it “sings” in a way that few other instruments can. It tickles my brain in the best possible way. The pedal steel on this record, played by Leo LeBlanc, is wonderful and perfectly compliments every one of the songs where it appears on this record. Don’t let my unabashed love of the pedal steel overshadow the great collection of songs John Prine wrote here. They’re often humorous, but also poignant and touching. It’s no surprise that Kurt Vile is such a fan of Prine; Prine’s sense of humor and skill with lyrical turns of phrase is clearly an influence. John Prine’s self-titled is a rarity for me: a country record that I was fully engaged with. When it was over, I had to listen again.

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4

John Prine has been long considered Country royalty. His amazing story telling really sets him apart for me. You can't really sing along with his songs but you can feel them. Even if its telling stories about people from the 50's. To me, John Prine is the music equivalent of the American Gothic painting or a Louie Lamore book. You get a real glimpse into life of the times.

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4

I am not a country music fan at all but just a few songs in.... this pretty great. Fun lyrics and easy to listen to. Song writing is top notch. Wait. Am I a country music fan now? Either way, I was pleasantly surprised - which is the whole point of doing this IMO.

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4

Very good writing. Stylistically kind of samesy.

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4

Oh no, a man on a throne of hay. At least I know what I'm going to get. Yep, fully twangy. However Illegal Smile is pretty cute. Goodness me there is quite a lot of wit and heart in these songs, isn't there? An unfortunate amount of the lyrical content is still perfectly relevant today, which is a fact of life worth pondering. But even so, this is fundamentally a cheerful album. I liked it. Thank you, album generator, I think I did need to hear this.

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4

he's just fun.

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4

At first I thought this was just some redneck trad country but then a few songs in it got political and emotional and musical with shades of Dylan. I enjoyed it

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4

Took a little bit to get used to the country "twang", but there are some great songs on this one. Lovely songwriting with good lyrics. Will come back for another listen.

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4

Very much enjoyed this, and would listen again & to more of his stuff.

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4

Very good, will definitely listen again

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3

I mean if this isn't country, or at least some yank folk rock, I'll eat my hat. haha ok the lyrics are great, it almost borders on joke rock so far. Hard to tell if it's a pisstake on country or a genuine effort. Wiki seems to think it's more of a genuine attempt at writing sarcastic hot takes and not the country version of steel panther or anything. I think they might be right. In any case, it's pretty catchy but it did get pretty samey, I'd had enough by the end. 3/5.

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3

Got some Dylan vibes.

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3

Decent album, not the biggest fan of the unserious lyrics

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3

Fun time country

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3

I'm not fan of the genre, but I certainly listened to this a lot while working

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3

Dylan-Esque, "Pretty Good" bester Song, sonst etwas zu viel Country für meinen Geschmack

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3

6

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3

pretty good not bad cant complain

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3

very good record. powerful storytelling and so much emotion Sam Stone - wow, this one hits so hard. I was listening to the album in the background not really noticing anything when THAT lyric caught me right in the head: "There's a hole in daddy's arm, where all the money goes". holy fuck what a song. Paradise tells a heartbreaking story as well. great song.

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3

Discount Willie Nelson. Some talent but none of the songs truly grabbed me

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3

I'm on track one and I don't think I'm going to last very long. I'm turning into Rolling Stone here, giving everything 3 stars even if I don't like it, but I can't exactly punish an album simply for not aligning with my tastes.

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3

I sort of liked and didn’t like this album. It was just *slightly* too country twang for my taste, but I didn’t really hate it. I also found some of the songs to be surprisingly relevant.

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3

cheeky hippie folk music unmistakably from the early 70's. there are definitely some clever smiles generated, but it's hard to love it given that it is for a distant time and place.

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3

Playful, cheeky Americana but with some really solid songwriting. Not my typical cup of tea but I really appreciate the craft (and subversive political humor).

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3

Dylanline

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3

Some catchy lyrics. well done, hot dog bun, my sister's a nun.

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3

Yeah it was OK. Fairly generic country.

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3

Really nice guitar melodies, but vocal twang a bit much for me. Angel from Montgomery is a beautiful song - Into the Wild

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3

Optimus Prine

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3

Interesting stories and funny in parts.

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3

Jingly jangly

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3

un homme extremement sympatique, musicalement rien de particulierement interessant mais j'ai apprecié sa gentillesse et sa delicatesse, 3/5

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3

I quite enjoyed it

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3

allright, not as good as the blue one

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3

Not into country but some of the songs were alright

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3

Not awful but not one to go back to

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3

I enjoy country and bluegrass. The songs from this album had good storytelling but the music itself didn’t wow me. Maybe because it’s an older genre of country.

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3

It was an alright album. I enjoy some folk songs, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the country-ness of this particular album. I can appreciate the blunt storytelling of the lyrics and the mellow guitar, but it's not the sound for me. Favorite track: Paradise

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3

There's that great scene in Stripes, where Bill Murray's girlfriend argues with him about always listening to Tito Puente. Murray responds by saying, "You know, one day, Tito Puente will be dead, and you'll say, 'Oh, yes, I've been listening to his work for years.'" The same theory could apply to John Prine. I never heard one word about John Prine, but when he got COVID and died, suddenly he had fans coming out of the woodworks. Might be crass to say, but I believe it was further magnified by the fact he was one of the first celebrity COVID deaths (for further reference, witness the outpouring of love for the dude from Fountains Of Wayne). So yeah, sacreligious as it might be in some corners, I think Prine is a tad overrated. Sounds like someone doing a Dylan imitation if Dylan went completely country. Angel Of Montgomery saves this for me, but I prefer other versions, especially Bonnie Raitt's cover. Angel Of Montgomery is a 5, and suggests that I should give Prine another chance. He was obviously a great songwriter. I'm sure I'll like him more than Tito Puente.

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3

No es mucho mi tipo pero mola para tenerla de fondo, música de señor con guitarra en bar, hay algunas canciones q me han gustado pero en general no es q me apasione este tipo de música BT: Illegal Smile (1) Pretty Good (6)

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3

Country music. Not unique in any way, but quite pleasant and I like his voice. Vocally this reminds me of Bob Dylan, which is odd, as I find Dylan's voice really puts me off his music.

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3

It's pretty country but more on the folk side of country. Having said that, there are some strong anti-war songs on here. It's not your modern red-state fishin'/drinkin'/Merica! country music. Though there is some religion-stuff in here. The songs do all kind of sound the same after a while and he's not the best singer. But in folk music like this the words/message are a bit more important than the music. And he's got some clever, enjoyable, and thought-provoking lyrics. TLDR: Interesting listen. Probably won't revisit much but I can appreciate it.

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3

Twangy and informal

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3

Some great songs here. I liked it. 3.5 🌟

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3

Test

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3

This guy's got jokes, but if you listen closely he also has a point or two. I guess Vietnam was pretty bad.

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3

Don’t know a lot of country for comparison and context’s same, but I heard a nice Dylan vibe, good lyrics, and overall just enjoyable to listen to. Nothing out of this world but my appreciation of country is limited so 3 stars

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3

Bit more country than I was expecting

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3

Pretty and depressing. 3.5

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