The long-awaited return of master singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Johnson to the country marketplace is surely one of the year's most highly anticipated--and overdue--projects. Besides being an impeccable vocalist, Johnson is also a classically training guitarist and his fancy finger picking is evident everywhere especially on the shimmeringly beautiful "Bristlecone Pine". A delightful duet between the singer and Juice Newton on "It Must Be You" joins two gifted stylists to remarkable results. Michael Johnson's return to the music scene is a true cause for celebration.
The Province - Vancouver, BC, Canada
August 7, 1992
The man from Introspection Holler, Johnson is noted as the other -- after Willie Nelson -- country classical guitar player. Better, too.
Not a big stretch for Johnson, this is more of his fine brand of uptown, sometimes ponderous, Hush Puppies country.
(note: reviewer calls album name "One Honest Tear" rather than "Michael Johnson" The Virginian Pilot - Norfolk VA
August 14, 1992
To be honest, One Honest Tear would have been a five-star selection if it weren't for the first three songs, including the title piece, which has been released as a single.
When you get past that hurdle, you get into some excellent country/folk music.
Johnson is one of those unsung heroes who, year after year, offers the worthwhile, but without the public relations ballyhoo that could make him a public darling. One Honest Tear is his 11th album, but people are still asking, "Who?"
The Atlantic album offers no gimmicks, just his smooth, comfortable voice and good dose of musical philosophy.
August 15, 1992
Johnson's so-cool vocals and cerebral approach to lyrics are welcome balances to the overwrought delivery of so many country acts. It doesn't hurt here that he has four tunes from the magic pen of Hugh Prestwood. Best cuts: "Bristlecone Pine", "Company Man", "Cheatin' On The Blues".
All Music Guide
by Tim Griggs
As mellow as he wants to be, Michael Johnson is truly laid-back. The music is somewhere in the middle of country-ish pop and pop-ish country. This album features songs written by Hugh Prestwood, Mike Reid, Randy Sharp, and Don Schlitz, among others. Most albums are sequenced so that the stronger tracks are near the beginning, but, in this case, the last three songs are the best. The highlight of the ten-track album is "Company Man", by Bob McDill and Dan Seals. There's nothing here as memorable as his hits from the '70s, like "Bluer Than Blue"; but this self-titled release is pleasant enough
Single Reviews: One Honest Tear
May 9, 1992
One of the country music scene's smoothest balladeers demonstrates he still has the master's touch. Soft, intimate, understated vocals and elegant pop production.
May 9, 1992
"One Honest Tear" has the caliber, lyrically and vocally, of past Johnson successes ("Bluer Than Blue", "This Night Won't Last Forever") with soft acoustical blends relaxing a painfully honest song such as this. Hopefully these selling points will win over country radio.