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[Country]

George Strait

Twang

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George Strait - Twang

George Strait has had approximately 97,569,708 top-10 country hits, and releases an album roughly every 10 minutes. No one gets to that place without being incredibly consistent, so you can probably guess what Strait’s 26th album, Twang, sounds like without hearing a note. It’s well-made, tuneful mainstream country music, the kind of stuff that keeps the 57-year-old Strait on country radio even when the majority of airplay time is taken up by young things like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

The Details

George Strait
Three stars
Beyond the Weekly
George Strait

Twang features a few rip-roarin’ honky-tonk numbers (“Same Kind of Crazy, “Hot Grease and Zydeco,” the title track), probably one or two too many maudlin ballads (“The Breath You Take,” “Beautiful Day for Goodbye”) and very little that’s surprising or new, although it does sport Strait’s first songwriting credits (three) since 1982. The balance of sentiment and songcraft is strong on the plaintive “Out of Sight Out of Mind,” drenched in wailing pedal steel, and the relaxed “Where Have I Been All My Life,” on which Strait gently addresses getting older.

There is a bit of stretching here, on “Arkansas Dave,” an excellent old-fashioned cowboy narrative written by Strait’s son Bubba, and “El Rey,” a cover of a ranchera classic with Strait singing in passable Spanish. The rest is comfortable, reassuring and undoubtedly destined for the top of the charts.

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