If you have a special playlist of songs for weeping in your pickup truck, here’s an addition to it. Kris Kristofferson was the crossover star who brought country music to the hippies, and as such he holds a special position in pop culture. Not to get too much into detail, but let’s just say that his sad love songs ended up on a lot playlists of people who would otherwise never touch a country music record. Obviously, the power of really great songwriting transcends the limitation of genre. The problem with country music – besides its unsavory cultural association with rednecks and right-wings politics – is that it’s a very tradition bound genre that all too often gets bogged down in laughable cliches. There’s only so many songs that can be written about whiskey, shotguns and pickup trucks before the entire genre becomes impossible to take seriously. So Kris Kristofferson’s songs remain outstanding for taking the best aspects of the style, like its emotional depth and social realism, and expanding on them without relying on tropes that were already hoary old cliches by end of the sixties.