Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Feb 21, 2013
    89
    Impressive company, and Johnson earns his spot among them.
  2. Jan 18, 2013
    80
    [Hank Cochran's] proven an inspirational figure for honky tonk star Johnson, who's managed to rope in half of Nashville for this revamp of Cochran's songbook. [Feb 2013, p.90]
  3. Jan 3, 2013
    90
    Though feisty honky-tonk numbers like "I Don't Do Windows" shimmer, the worldweary ballads--especially the Johnson/Alison Krauss duet "Make The World Go Away"--are Sublime. [Feb 2013, p.74]
  4. Nov 13, 2012
    60
    The album is a classy, low-key affair, with solid, tasteful arrangements designed to show off the singers and the songs.
  5. 70
    While the album is too long by at least four songs (Johnson has never been the best editor of his own material), he and his crew do well by Cochran.
  6. Oct 30, 2012
    80
    With this album Mr. Johnson proves not only that he plays well with others (especially Ray Price, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson and George Strait) but also that his cantankerous charm flows out of a sentimental continuum.
  7. 75
    Johnson occasionally lacks the depth of Cochran's bloodshot despair, but with guests like Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard, you can't blame him for not sounding sad in Living for a Song.
  8. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    In honoring his friend and inspiration, the late writer Hank Cochran, Jamey Johnson recorded one of the most heartfelt albums of the year.
  9. Vocally, duet partners from 41-year-old Alison Krauss to 86-year-old Ray Price outdo themselves keeping the young powerhouse in check‑-only on the ill-advised showcase does Johnson get to show off.
  10. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    Johnson and the small army of country stars he's enlisted to collaborate on the project all wisely keep the focus on Cochran's extraordinary songwriting, making for an album that highlights the depth and range of Cochran's catalogue and the monumental influence his writing has had on country music.
  11. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    Johnson doesn't attempt to draw attention to himself, but instead, presents a series of excellent performances of Cochran's songs with himself as an anchor.
  12. Oct 16, 2012
    70
    Jamey Johnson's sterling tribute to the late, great country music tunesmith Hank Cochran will either provide solace or send you to Costco to buy Kleenex in bulk.
  13. Oct 16, 2012
    91
    The arrangements are warm and understated while the performances fill the room, making Living For A Song a steady grower that sneaks up behind listeners and pickpockets their hearts.
  14. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    [This collection is] loving genuflection; it's also proof that Johnson, 21st-century country's outlaw ne plus ultra, is also one of its most sensitive balladeers – beneath the scary beard, he's an old softie.

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