George Strait

MCA Nashville, 2008

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Once upon a time when men were men, women were women and country music was country music, Nashville was the home of some hard-living, harder-loving, songwriting, country artists. It was a time when country music was not being sung by artists with coiffered hair and well conditioned physiques.

Country music today sells hundreds of millions of albums each year and fills arenas throughout our country. It is a blend of country and rock and bears little resemblance to its classic predecessors.

George Strait is one of today’s country artists that remains popular while staying in touch with classic country roots. He has successfully taken what can be called newly written classic country songs and modernized them to strike a chord with a large section of the album buying public. Strait’s latest release, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Troubadour, not only became a number one country album but also topped Billboards top 200 album chart.

Troubadour is just about the perfect country album. The album is varied enough to be interesting but not overly long so as to wear out its welcome. The album is also filled with well-written and brilliantly structured songs from the cream of country authors. Strait did not write any songs on this album, but because of his stature he is able to choose from the best available.

The album’s title track is an uplifting autobiographical song about aging. The aging process for George Strait is not the end, but a journey of acceptance and ultimately peace. Strait’s clear baritone leads to a catchy melody that combines the best of old and new country music.

“It Was Me” starts off with steel guitar and fiddle, which leads into an acoustic ballad story. Strait presents an uplifting story of love found which runs counterpoint to the slow, subdued music. Meanwhile, “Brothers Of The Highway” is a classic country trucker song. This ode to the road comes with upbeat honky tonk piano, steel guitar, and thumping drums in support.

“The House Of Cash” is a duet with Patty Loveless and serves as a tribute and farewell to Johnny Cash and June Carter. This can almost be classified as country blues and Loveless’ voice is suited for this type of song.

Other highlights include “I Saw God Today” which is the finding of God in the little things of life that we so often ignore. “Make Her Fall In Love With Me Song” is a tongue-in-cheek song about finding the right song to make a girl fall in love with him. This song is far removed from Strait’s typical material, as it has a honky tonk feel with outstanding piano runs.

Troubadour is a rare country album that keeps your attention throughout. Its upbeat messages and expert musicianship allow the album to effortlessly meander along as it presents small chapters about the stories of life; this deserves to take its place among the classic country albums.

Rating: A

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© 2008 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MCA Nashville, and is used for informational purposes only.