Album Review: George Strait — Here For a Good Time
He is country music’s Old Faithful, turning out quality albums at regular intervals for the past three decades. Surprises are rare as wrinkles in his starched button-downs. Here for a Good Time, his 26th studio album, is another in a long line of solid releases. What separates this record from previous efforts is the amount of Strait originals: he and son Bubba had a hand in seven of the album’s eleven tracks; six of those were co-written with longtime Strait songsmith Dean Dillon. The trio makes a good team, whether they’re writing about the tortured history of a “Drinkin’ Man” set to crying fiddle, the lost love depicted in “House on the Bay” or the goofy, groovy tale of “Blue Marlin Blues.”
Though he seems to rarely play the guitar in his hands at live shows, Strait remains a talented picker—of material, that is. The easygoing, mid-tempo opener “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright” (an Al Anderson/Chris Stapleton song) sounds as though it could be on any of his chart-topping 1990s albums, while “Poison,” penned by Chuck Cannon and Allen Shamblin, is arguably the album’s best-written song, though the arrangement becomes plodding upon repeated listens. Here, Strait sings about the enjoyable-yet-dangerous elements of life: whiskey and razor-tongued women, coming to the conclusion that “Anything can bring you pleasure/Even pain/Pick your poison.” His cover of “A Showman’s Life,” which features Faith Hill, is another song in this vein, noting that stardom—despite its pleasures, financial and otherwise—comes with a number of hardships that cause “wear and tear on an old honky tonker’s heart.”
Closing out the album is “I’ll Always Remember You,” which, in conjunction with “A Showman’s Life,” feels a bit like a farewell as Strait thanks his fans for their support these past three decades. Thankfully, he makes sure to reassure any worried listeners by singing, in that instantly recognizable voice, “I’m not saying I’m through by any means.” That’s King George, reliable as always.
- Rick: Why Leeann, I'm all for "charity" when I am the recipient! (lol)
- Rick: I'm glad to see Miss Leslie was able to raise enough funds to record a new album. I can't wait ...
- J.R. Journey: Congratulations to Trisha Yearwood and Little Big Town. They join Hank Williams Jr. in the country-stars-with-Emmy-awards category.
- Juli Thanki: They're no Tracy Jordan.
- Luckyoldsun: Here he is with Mr. Johnny Carson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L5QC9ZJkM8
- Blake Boldt: Trisha and LBT for the EGOT.
- Barry Mazor: I thought Luckyol was kidding--and he may have been. The Ames Bros charted dozens of times, and Ed Ames ...
- bob: Before going solo, Ed Ames was a member of the Ames Brothers. The brothers had some hits in the 50's ...
- Luckyoldsun: "My parents’ record collection consisted of Ed Ames, Perry Como..." Ed Ames made records? I did not know that. I thought ...
- Leeann Ward: Old Town, where Griffin is from, is just a few minutes away from me.