George Strait — “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”
For those who find comfort in the familiar, George Strait is the romantic ideal. Much has been made of his stunning track record, but the flashy numbers on his scorecard (44 No. 1 singles, 33 platinum albums) are a tribute to a mind-boggling consistency that has nothing to do with hip trends or passing fads.
“Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” the second single from Strait’s latest album Here for a Good Time, lands right in his wheelhouse. With his stately Texas twang, he acts as a pillar of emotional self-control, soothing his dearly beloved after she’s had yet another bad day. He brings a blue-collar attitude to the table, insisting that a little one-on-one time will make all her troubles fade.
Despite his efforts to free her heart from loneliness and despair, he knows it might be an uphill fight. With a warm, welcoming grin, he offers complete devotion in the face of all her worries: “Honey, I will be right here for you/With open arms, you can run to me.”
In the second verse, he suggests a night of merrymaking (“We can go out and paint the town/We can dance your cares away”). But it’s made clear by his tender performance that he’d rather propose some homebound TLC (“I’ll chase you down the hallway/Watch the sun come up behind our bedroom door”).
The conversation about country radio largely centers on the format’s lack of lyrical substance. “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright” doesn’t deal in facile wordplay or fancy pick-up lines, but in keeping with Strait’s expansive oeuvre, it gives a sense balance to the current playlist. While most hits loudly extol the virtues of country’s ABCs (America, booty, cold beer), the song has a simple and delicate message that’s timeless as it is effortless.
The production, too, is purely old-school. So far the year’s best singles—among them, Eric Church’s “Homeboy,” Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim,” and Taylor Swift’s “Mean”—have also been the most ambitious. And while this slew of younger artists are testing the boundaries of how country music sounds, Strait remains loyal to his trusted arrangements. Drenched in fiddle and pedal steel, “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright” would fit in quite nicely with the material he’s recorded since 1990. After four minutes of Strait’s encouragement, it can be said that sometimes the tried and true offers unexpected pleasures. His latest might not reinvent the wheel, but it’s an appealing snapshot of a legendary talent.
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