June 14, 1982 12:00 PM

Don Williams

If you do listen to country music radio, you’ve been hearing plenty of Williams’ fine work for years. The hit single title song is typical. Maybe too typical. Just about all of Williams’ tunes are consistent, which is to say predictable; any tune from the current album is likely to recall something from a previous batch. Case in point: If She Just Helps Me Get Over You will only barely help you get over 1974’s I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me, since it’s an eerie near double, with pedal steel hooks, chords, melody and all. Williams is a gifted and deservedly popular country artist who fiercely sticks to his guns. Trouble is, he’s so stuck to ’em, nobody can pry him loose long enough to try anything fresh. He’s been at a plateau for several years—and, Lord have mercy, it’s a sweet, listenable one. But it’s tempting to imagine what he could do if he ventured away from his formula.

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