Country Is As Country Does
Country legend George Strait’s returns with Twang, his latest country album which mixes chart topping music with lofty predictability. Twang is the follow-up to 2008’s platinum selling album Troubadour, and is jammed packed with commercial country hit songs that have defined Straits’s career for 38 albums and spanned almost three decades.
Leading the way is the title track, “Twang,” which can be summarized as just that. The honky-tonkin’, foot-stomping song will make anyone want to throw on a pair of cowboy boots, open a beer and get dancing, “Cause I need a little twang/A little hillbilly bending on some guitar strings.” But for most of the album, Strait sticks to the heartbreaking country music he knows best, leaving no room for any musical surprises.
One of the most rewarding risks Strait has taken is in his re-emergence as a songwriter, co-writing three tracks: “Living for the Night,” which expresses his feelings after the loss of a person in his life, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” and “He’s Got That Something Special” with his son Bubba, who also ventures out solo with his song “Arkansas Dave.” Strait also brings back veteran songwriters Dean Dillon for “The Breath You Take,” about savoring life’s important moments, big or small, and Delbert McClinton for “Some Kind Of Crazy.” But the true country gem is a cover of Jose Alfredo Jimenez’s mariachi classic “El Rey.” Strait ventures out of his country comfort zone and takes a chance singing entirely in Spanish, a risk that has gained a lot of reward.
Twang is surely a hit among country fans and Strait sticks to what he knows best. But if the recipe for country music success ain’t broke, why fix it?