Clint Black - Killin' Time
Clint Black's debut album thundered onto the country airwaves in 1989, perking up ears and turning heads wherever his finely-honed tenor was heard. First "A Better Man" moved swiftly up the charts, followed just as quickly by "Killin' Time." It was country music as country music is supposed to be done, powerfully performed by a drop-dead handsome Texan, and people started to think differently about how "country music" was supposed to look and sound. By the time "Nothing's News," "Walkin' Away," and "Nobody's Home" had moved up the charts, Clint was well on his way to superstardom.
But standing alone, before all of that came along, Killin' Time is an absolutely marvelous album. It is stark in its purity, the melodies crisp, the lyrics sharp and clever, and it is heart-searing and uncompromisingly country in its emotional content and theme. Clint remembered the honky-tonker, the blue-collar worker, the lost love and the heartache of all that traditional country/western was and could be, Texas by way of Bakersfield with a hint of Nashville.
"Killin' Time" opens with a pure honky-tonkin' Texas swing number, "Straight From the Factory," and immediately progresses to one of the finer tracks, "A Better Man," which shows that everyone can rise from sorrow and come away with some good lessons learned. It's followed by the deeply plaintive "Nobody's Home," with track after track as excellent as the one before it, from his gritty whine on "Nothing's News" to the brilliant title tune. Clint has had some great songs in his career, but this remains his best album.
Reviewed by Kathy Coleman