[Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down on "Kristofferson"] is his ultimate statement to date about loneliness, and Kris has made a lot of statements about loneliness. The lament for lost or never-had companions or loves dogs his songs with the quiet efficiency of a small-town bookkeeper. Many songs also mention being broke and hung over….
Kristofferson tosses out a better-than-average adage occasionally…. But his lyrics don't have the gloss of self-conscious surrealism that so many other songwriters picked up by listening to Bob Dylan. Kristofferson's lyrics are straightforward and, in their way, generally graceful. Compare his songs with those of writers ten years his junior, those who are trying to say the same things, and you can see how experience—and even an Oxford education—can be helpful.
Kristofferson says he wants to affect people emotionally rather than intellectually—but any songwriter interested in survival wants to do that. The thing is that in order to write well for the viscera, one must have his own cerebrum in order, otherwise he won't know how thick to pour it on. Kristofferson, in this album, poured it on just about right.
Noel Coppage, "The Sound of Kristofferson," in Stereo Review (copyright © 1971 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company), Vol. 26, No. 4, April, 1971, p. 61.