George Strait Passes The Torch

Aug 10th, 2009 // 3 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to the 26th studio album by country stalwart George Strait, Twang:

• ”He returns to some gritty honky-tonk later on, but not enough. The most impressive part of the album is that Strait co-wrote three songs—the first time he’s written since his 1982 debut album. He penned them with his son, Bubba, a budding talent who receives a sole writing credit on ‘Arkansas Dave,’ a spare, folkie track with a cowboy feel that his dad brings out beautifully. There are some great things here, but not likely enough for Strait to win another Grammy for best country album, which he did last year. Let’s hope that next time he really brings the twang. [Steve Morse, Boston Globe]

• “Twang‘s highlight, ‘Arkansas Dave,’ has the loping beat, acoustic framework and twist-ending tale of an old gunslinger reminiscent of a Kenny Rogers or Johnny Cash hit from the 1970s. In his straightforward manner Strait is as convincing on a story song like Arkansas Dave, written solely by his son, as he is sincere on wise ballads like ‘Where Have I Been All My Life,’ a track that notches the passage of time without lapsing into modern country’s penchant for sappy sentimentality. Maybe this type of quality control is what allows Strait to buck the odds that say his kind has no place on shallow mainstream radio.” [Howard Cohen, Miami Herald]

• ”Because he knows exactly how to stretch his Wrangler-clad legs without spooking the herd, most vividly here by kicking up his heels on Delbert McClinton’s ‘Same Kind of Crazy” and flinging himself into a full-throated and faithful interpretation of mariachi standard ‘El Rey’ en español. And because he’s taken a hands-on approach for the first time since 1982, co-writing three of these tracks alongside his son, Bubba: the lackadaisical lead single ‘Living for the Night,’ a lonesome two-step called ‘Out of Sight Out of Mind,’ and the clever chorus twist of ‘He’s Got That Something Special.’ Do these self-penned songs explode like bottle rockets in the vast West Texas sky? No. They sound like George Strait songs, of course. But look, the dude’s cut 57 No. 1 hits. Would you change your tune?” [Whitney Pastorek, EW]


  1. 26th! He should have had a gimmick going where each album started with a different letter of the alphabet.

  2. @NedRaggett: Like Morbid Angel!

    George Strait should have a gimmick where he releases an album full of Morbid Angel covers.

  3. Henry

    When I read your question, I got cuirous and saw Adam’s video on YouTube. I think I saw enough.Adam must have had a very difficult time hiding in a closet, but he didn’t have to come out that way. Disgusting and he acted as if it is the right thing to do. Well, he is dead wrong!We have gay communities around and I have mature gay friends who are respectful of others. But Adam? He is hungry and is going wildly out of his closet.I will not say that we are happy that Adam did not win the American Idol title, but he should have thought twice before performing. Think about kids watching the show.If he really wanted to perform sleazy dance, he should do it at gay bars!

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