Blame the Vain

Blame the Vain

5.0 3
by Dwight Yoakam
     
 

He may have parted ways with his longtime partner in twang, Pete Anderson, but Dwight Yoakam carries on without missing a beat. He produced Blame the Vain himself, largely benching Anderson's occasional Spectorian touches and beloved vocal echo, instead taking his sonic cue strictly from vintage Bakersfield. The disc's lean, taut,See more details below

Overview

He may have parted ways with his longtime partner in twang, Pete Anderson, but Dwight Yoakam carries on without missing a beat. He produced Blame the Vain himself, largely benching Anderson's occasional Spectorian touches and beloved vocal echo, instead taking his sonic cue strictly from vintage Bakersfield. The disc's lean, taut, and testosterone-rich sound leaves Yoakam's expressive Kentucky twang out front and largely unadorned. It's a muscular sound, well suited for his latest batch of tear-jerkers, wild-eyed romps, and slightly sardonic love letters. New guitarist Keith Gattis makes sure the twang is bold, especially on the rockabilly-fired rouser "I'll Remember." An effective honky-tonk weeper, "Just Passin' Time," announces itself with a somber wave of pedal steel moans and muted, twangy guitar snarls before accommodating an atmospheric, Spanish-flavored acoustic guitar passage, a perfect backdrop for Yoakam's tear-stained tale of a lonely, unfocused man. The steamrolling, hard-country "Intentional Heartache" tells of a flighty, unstable female. In style, structure, and sound, the kiss-off "Three Good Reasons" is most like a classic Yoakam-Anderson collaboration, with an echo resonant of Memphis circa 1954 and an angry, snarling guitar solo. Elsewhere, Yoakam lifts, and then develops, the establishing guitar riff from Lennon-McCartney's "I Got a Feeling" to fuel the churning "When I First Came Here" and rolls out a touching Skip Edwards string arrangement, à la George Martin, in the wrenching "The Last Heart in Line." Blame the Vain isn't as consistent from top to bottom as Yoakam's Anderson-produced monuments, but there's no vanity in calling it a top-drawer slice of rockin' country.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
When Dwight Yoakam burst onto the charts with his first album in 1986, he was the young honky tonk firebrand who set out to remind Nashville of its noble past and celebrate the accomplishments of Bakersfield heroes such as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. The irony is that nearly 20 years later, Yoakam is in pretty much the same boat as the artists he championed in the 1980s -- he's a respected veteran of the country scene who still has a loyal audience but lost the interest of the major labels and isn't drawing the attention he used to get. But if any of this troubles him, you'd never guess to listen to 2005's Blame the Vain, which is his sharpest and liveliest set in some time. With Yoakam producing himself for a change without the help of longtime studio partner Pete Anderson, Blame the Vain also finds him fronting a new band anchored by guitarist Keith Gattis, and the new blood seems to have done wonders for Yoakam -- while he wasn't exactly in a slump, Blame the Vain boasts a sharper and more energetic approach than his last several efforts, with "Just Passin' Time," "Three Good Reasons," and the title cut revealing that Yoakam is still a honky tonk man supreme. Elsewhere, the whacked-out intro to "She'll Remember" and the ad-libbed final rant on "Intentional Heartache" show Yoakam's firmly in touch with his inner goofball weirdo, the songwriting is both literate and down-home in the manner of his best work, and he sings up a storm from front to back. Two decades into his career, Dwight Yoakam is still the man who is too country for Nashville, and on Blame the Vain he shows he's got too much strength and soul to let anyone hold him down -- this is inspired stuff from a rebel who still has plenty to offer.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/14/2005
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396607525
catalogNumber:
6075
Rank:
7245

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dwight Yoakam   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Soloist
Bobbye Hall   Percussion,Bongos,Tambourine,Shaker,cowbell,Cabasa
Jonathan Clark   Background Vocals
Skip Edwards   Synthesizer,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Hammond Organ,Hand Clapping,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Mitch Marine   Drums,Hand Clapping
Taras Prodaniuk   Bass
Timothy B. Schmit   Background Vocals
Lee Thornburg   French Horn
Gerry McGee   Acoustic Guitar,Soloist
Jim Barth   Strings
Keith Gattis   Bass,Electric Guitar,Hand Clapping
Bonhomme   Acoustic Guitar
Gary Ebbins   Hand Clapping
Eric Gaenslen   Cello
Thomas Dienner   Viola
David Roe   Background Vocals
Jessica Bolter   Oboe
Phillip Vaiman   Violin
Dave Roe   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Dwight Yoakam   Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
Michael Dumas   Engineer
Skip Edwards   String Arrangements
Stephen Marcussen   Mastering
Katherine Delaney   Graphic Design
Steve Moore   Engineer

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