After Kris Kristofferson's first two albums (Me and Bobby McGee (originally self-titled and recently re-released as such) and The Silver Tongued Devil and I) his popularity dropped off a bit, especially among those determining radio airplay. Still, he continued to write and record great music. His albums in the mid-70s usually included at least two or three real gems. Some of his other songs tended toward the esoteric, though many were brilliant compositions. This album from 1976 is probably his best of that period. Although some of the songs can be called 'intellectual', they are all relatively accessible. The album starts off with a couple of great songs that probably describe as much about Kristofferson's perspective on the world as anything he's written: "You Show Me Yours (And I'll Show You Mine)" and "Killing Time". Both reveal the openness of his spirit and his desire to see others achieve the same. "Eddie the Eunuch" is a hilarious take on music critics.. "Bad Love Story" is a great ballad, one of the best lost love songs you'll ever hear. It is perhaps the simplest song Kristofferson ever wrote, and one of the most country. "If You Don't Like Hank Williams..." is another great song, especially when you consider the type of criticism Kris and his fellow Outlaws were dealing with at the time. The album is produced with heavy arrangements, and is the most rock oriented album of his career (with the exception of "Bad Love Story" mentioned above). Though I generally appreciate simpler country arrangements, the production here is very appropriate for the themes and melodies of these songs.
Surreal Thing is vintage Kristofferson that combines country and rock n' roll with a approprietly heavy back-up band. The fifth and last track show the most humor, while the seventh is the most romantic. The opening track is both in a great slow version with then-wife Rita. This is a wonderfully mood-minded album that should belong to any Kris-collector.