George Strait — “Give It All We Got Tonight”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | November 6th, 2012

georgestrait39_photobyVanessaGavalya_v_pSongwriters: Mark Bright, Phil O’Donnell and Tim James

Like the smitten suitor he’s playing, George Strait doesn’t so much sing his new single as he does slowly sink into it. The tingly anticipation and excitement of new love (or lust) is palpable in the opening lines of “Give It All We Got Tonight,” tumbling out in breathless nuggets and building into classic Strait with a twist.

Like the artist himself, that twist is really more like a subtle tweak: Instead of putting the focus on his vocal performance, Strait plays mostly with phrasing, letting lines such as “July moonlight shines/Your pretty little head on my shoulder/Pull over on the side of the road/Oh my God, you’re something” fall out of his mouth as if they’re just popping into his head. The surprising, thoughtful roll-out of simple lyrics throughout the song keeps the song fresh and Strait engaged.

The rest of “Give It All We Got Tonight” meanders safely on from that great opening moment, as long-time Strait producer Tony Brown colors inside the lines with a supporting cast of piano, steel, fiddle, and quiet harmony. Those classic choices only make awkward echoes on the tail end of the chorus’ lyrics stand out as the lone forced piece of the song.

On the heels of his farewell tour announcement, “Give It All We Got Tonight” is a simple reminder of the charm and confidence that has carried Strait for more than three decades in country music – and the slight surprises that have kept him relevant all that time.

Thumbs Up

  1. Ben Foster
    November 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

    This is only my first time hearing this, but I hate to say that so far it’s not doing much for me. The echoey background vocals I find a bit annoying, and I don’t think this melody is a good fit for Strait’s voice.

  2. Leeann Ward
    November 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I like it over all, but I could really live without the echo. It doesn’t ruin it for me, but it does annoy me and seems unnecessary.

  3. Keith
    November 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Yes, the echo is annoying, but just I feel like this song in general is a bad fit for George. The lyrics sound like they should be coming from someone a third of his age. The man is 60 years old, has been married for 41 years, and he’s singing about new love? I understand that there is a need to have songs be relatable, but there’s more of a problem when the artist himself can’t relate to a song.

  4. Leeann Ward
    November 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Yeah, there’s a point to that, but I did note that George’s voice doesn’t sound old. He still sounds pretty young-ish.

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