It Just Comes Natural
For 25 years, George Strait has worn his success as comfortably as his trademark Stetson. He remains country music’s consummate gentleman, able to uphold honky tonk’s rowdy traditions without losing his clean-cut edge. His strength is his sincerity — Strait’s music has an emotional credibility that never comes wrapped in false bravado. 2006’s It Just Comes Natural remains true to this standard while freshening up his sound a bit. Recorded at Jimmy Buffett’s intimate Shrimpboat Studio in Key West, Florida (rather than the usual Nashville locales), the tracks capture a renewed commitment to country’s fundamentals. Spurred on by twanging guitar and hot fiddle, Strait dives into uptempo tunes like Guy Clark’s “Texas Cookin’” with relish. “Come On Joe” lets him settle into a wistful Tex-Mex mood, while “Give It Away” balances wry humor with romantic regret. It’s the ballads that really make this album one of Strait’s most satisfying in some time. His innate dignity and understated passion shines through on tracks like “Why Can’t I Leave Her Alone” and “I Ain’t Her Cowboy Anymore.” This album is the work of a much-loved veteran still in his prime, out to win the hearts of his fans all over again.