10 Songs, 30 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even more than his debut, Clint Black’s second album bears traces of his upbringing on the Texas honky-tonk circuit. “Put Yourself In My Shoes,” “One More Payment,” and “This Nightlife” showcase the blend of Western Swing, bluegrass and blues that provides the eternal lights in the rural Texas roadhouses. At this point in his career, Black was expanding his fan base without compromising his sound. Even the tunes that feel the most like pop songs —“A Heart Like Mine” and “Muddy Water”— are tempered by Black’s trademark modesty. The songs benefit from James Stroud’s plaintive production, which highlights the music’s acoustic designs. It is entirely to Black’s credit that “The Gulf of Mexico,” “Loving Blind” and “Where Are You Now” could be jukebox hits, even though all three are essentially naked folk songs. The substance here is contained not in the instrumentation or the production or the arrangements — it’s strictly in the song. The hidden gem is “The Goodnight-Loving,” a cowboy lament that sails along with all the swiftness of wind across an open plain.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even more than his debut, Clint Black’s second album bears traces of his upbringing on the Texas honky-tonk circuit. “Put Yourself In My Shoes,” “One More Payment,” and “This Nightlife” showcase the blend of Western Swing, bluegrass and blues that provides the eternal lights in the rural Texas roadhouses. At this point in his career, Black was expanding his fan base without compromising his sound. Even the tunes that feel the most like pop songs —“A Heart Like Mine” and “Muddy Water”— are tempered by Black’s trademark modesty. The songs benefit from James Stroud’s plaintive production, which highlights the music’s acoustic designs. It is entirely to Black’s credit that “The Gulf of Mexico,” “Loving Blind” and “Where Are You Now” could be jukebox hits, even though all three are essentially naked folk songs. The substance here is contained not in the instrumentation or the production or the arrangements — it’s strictly in the song. The hidden gem is “The Goodnight-Loving,” a cowboy lament that sails along with all the swiftness of wind across an open plain.

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