Working in Tennessee - Merle Haggard
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Now 74 and short half a lung, he's not making the best music of his life, just the best albums.
  2. 91
    Here he rails against government and the state of music in a voice that radiates so-what intransigence. [7 Oct 2011, p.75]
  3. Oct 3, 2011
    82
    At 74, one of American music's patriarchs sounds as sprite as ever, kicking off with a great honky-tonk anthem, the joyous title song.
  4. Dec 22, 2011
    80
    A release that impresses throughout. [Nov 2011, p.99]
  5. Oct 18, 2011
    80
    Working In Tennessee resonates with much of the cool, complicated clarity of his very best work. [Nov 2011, p.85]
  6. Oct 6, 2011
    80
    The mood is what's irresistible. Sashaying through a bunch of tunes that showcase his craft, Haggard sounds laidback and happy. And the bounce spreads right through the band.
  7. 75
    Merle Haggard may be 74 but he sounds utterly playful in the title track of his new album, one of his strongest collections in a couple of decades.
  8. Nov 11, 2011
    70
    While it lacks the emotional heft of Merle's acclaimed 2010 album, I Am What I Am, the cancer survivor's latest album boasts plenty of flinty independence.
  9. Oct 4, 2011
    70
    The album--recorded at Haggard's California ranch--benefits from a relaxed, among-friends vibe, and Haggard's more upbeat singing about his past.
  10. Oct 3, 2011
    70
    He's proceeding at the pace of a 74-year-old legend with nothing to prove, yet he's not resting on his laurels, he's just doing what he's always done: singing songs so expertly his virtuosity almost goes unnoticed.
  11. Oct 5, 2011
    68
    The album won't rope in new listeners, but those who've loved him all these years will find plenty to sink their teeth into.
  12. Oct 4, 2011
    60
    If this intermittently pleasant but insignificant album has a purpose, it's to prove that the 74-year-old country legend can still do it like clockwork.
  13. Sep 30, 2011
    60
    Working in Tennessee glides along on its Bakersfield groove with the greatest of ease, despite the album's title.
  14. Oct 7, 2011
    50
    His smoke-scarred and whiskey-soothed voice sounds great, and the Strangers are in fine form, but the 11 songs that make up the 35-minute long Working in Tennessee lack the insights and urgency we hope for in a new Haggard collection.
  15. Oct 4, 2011
    50
    Working In Tennessee is often sleepy to the point of being narcoleptic. Still, even when he strains to hit notes, which he does often, Haggard sounds like he's enjoying himself.

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