11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

George Strait delivering “She Let Herself Go,” a song of female empowerment, immediately tells you two things about Strait that set him apart: he has respect for his sizable female audience, and he has reached a point in his career where he is unafraid to subvert the macho cowboy persona. There are a handful of songs on Somewhere Down In Texas that portray an older, wiser Strait. Now 53, he can convincingly impart contented ballads like “You’ll Be There” and “Oh, What A Perfect Day.” At the same time, he has the depth of experience to pull off “By the Light of a Burning Bridge,” a remarkable account of regret. Still, Strait reminds us that some things never change. The title track and “Texas” add to his collection two more home state anthems, while “Ready For the End of the World” and “Good News, Bad News” are a pair of magnificent breakup songs from someone who by all rights should have long ago exhausted the form’s possibilities. Notwithstanding the nuance of his love songs, Strait still delivers the homespun wisdom of “If the Whole World Was a Honky Tonk” like a true-blood cowboy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

George Strait delivering “She Let Herself Go,” a song of female empowerment, immediately tells you two things about Strait that set him apart: he has respect for his sizable female audience, and he has reached a point in his career where he is unafraid to subvert the macho cowboy persona. There are a handful of songs on Somewhere Down In Texas that portray an older, wiser Strait. Now 53, he can convincingly impart contented ballads like “You’ll Be There” and “Oh, What A Perfect Day.” At the same time, he has the depth of experience to pull off “By the Light of a Burning Bridge,” a remarkable account of regret. Still, Strait reminds us that some things never change. The title track and “Texas” add to his collection two more home state anthems, while “Ready For the End of the World” and “Good News, Bad News” are a pair of magnificent breakup songs from someone who by all rights should have long ago exhausted the form’s possibilities. Notwithstanding the nuance of his love songs, Strait still delivers the homespun wisdom of “If the Whole World Was a Honky Tonk” like a true-blood cowboy.

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