Population Me

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A distraught Bart Simpson once asked his dad, Homer, for advice on how to get rid of an unwanted girlfriend. Homer proposed sending her a card inscribed with the sentiment, "Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You." On his first album for his own Electrodisc label, Dwight Yoakam personalizes Homer's advice, which fits in perfectly with his long-standing mind-set of always being the aggrieved party when romance goes sour. The big difference this time is that Yoakam isn't nearly as hard on himself as he has been in the past. Oh, sure, he gets as self-loathing as ever on the elegant country swing advisory "I'd Avoid Me Too," but -- in a major shift in perspective, if not ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A distraught Bart Simpson once asked his dad, Homer, for advice on how to get rid of an unwanted girlfriend. Homer proposed sending her a card inscribed with the sentiment, "Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You." On his first album for his own Electrodisc label, Dwight Yoakam personalizes Homer's advice, which fits in perfectly with his long-standing mind-set of always being the aggrieved party when romance goes sour. The big difference this time is that Yoakam isn't nearly as hard on himself as he has been in the past. Oh, sure, he gets as self-loathing as ever on the elegant country swing advisory "I'd Avoid Me Too," but -- in a major shift in perspective, if not gestalt -- he looks beyond the wreckage of past relationships in search of a reason to be hopeful on "Exception to the Rule," spun around one of the most infectious melodies he's ever written. Naturally, Yoakam's longtime sideman, producer-guitarist Pete Anderson, adds his elegant, twang-rich guitar flourishes to sculpt some fascinating soundscapes for these tales. Willie Nelson turns up for a terrific duet on the moaning "If Teardrops Were Diamonds," a loping C&W heartbreaker in which the magnitude of loneliness is measured in precious gems. A pillowy, cooing chorus, insistent shuffle, and subtle banjo punctuations key a grim view of paradise lost in the hard-edged album opener, "The Late Great Golden State." And in a truly inspired moment, Yoakam and Anderson reimagine Bacharach-David's "Trains and Boats and Planes" as a bluegrass lament, complete with Earl Scruggs on banjo. Something old, something new, a little bit borrowed, a lot of it blue, Population: Me is a whole lot of country's most important auteur in a peak performance. Heartache and misery have never been so alluringly depicted.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Dwight Yoakam returns on a new label with his first album proper in three years -- the soundtrack to his directorial film debut, South of Heaven, West of Hell is just that, not an album of songs. And while one might wonder if Population Me is more of the same brand of Bakersfield-styled honky tonk blues from Yoakam and be right, there are two arguments as to why it's a necessary purchase. First and foremost, the quality of Yoakam's material is the most consistent in country music since the outlaws of the mid-'70s. Arguably, Yoakam has never released a shoddy album, and this one is no exception. Most importantly are the surprises, of which there are plenty. On the opener, "The Late Great Golden State," written by Mike Stinson, Yoakam does his best Jackson Browne-Eagles -- and actually reveals why the L.A. drugstore cowboy sound is timeless when done right. Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmidt lends a hand on the backing vocals and gives it a solid "take it easy" rollicking roll. Elsewhere, as on the title track driven by guitar ace Pete Anderson and pedal steel, banjo, and dobro king Gary Morse, Yoakam weaves a perfect blend of driving rockabilly, Chuck Berry, and honky tonk. On a banjo-drenched cover of Burt Bacharach's "Trains and Boats and Planes," Yoakam sings his skinny butt off, while Anderson rides the mandolin down into the lost wail of Scott Joss' fiddle. They transform the pop song into a traditional country shuffle graced with the high lonesome sound of Earl Scruggs' electrifying banjo work, punching the fills and turnarounds with grease and grit. "If Teardrops Were Diamonds" is one of Yoakam's most beautiful ballads. Willie Nelson performs a duet with him, adding a gorgeous pop sensibility to Yoakam's hillbilly moan. Through the rest, Yoakam's songwriting continues to grow and transform itself into an accurate reflection of American culture as felt through the poetic heart of a country musician. The songs are right there: lean, tough, raw, and drenched with hooks as well as emotions -- check out the honky tonk stroll of "I'd Avoid Me Too." This is stellar, kickin' impure country.
Entertainment Weekly - Alanna Nash
A long hillbilly wallow, and a fine one at that. (A-)

A long hillbilly wallow, and a fine one at that. (A-)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2003
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 684038817627
  • Catalog Number: 8176

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dwight Yoakam Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Earl Scruggs Banjo
Pete Anderson Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Electric Guitar
Jonathan Clark Background Vocals
Skip Edwards Keyboards
Tommy Funderburk Background Vocals
Bob Glaub Bass
Don Heffington Drums
Scott Joss Fiddle
Gary Morse Banjo, Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar
Timothy B. Schmit Background Vocals
Lee Thornburg Trombone, Trumpet
Al Bonhomme Acoustic Guitar
Gabe Witcher Fiddle
Kevin Sepriano Hand Clapping
Technical Credits
Willie Nelson Duet
Dwight Yoakam Art Direction
Pete Anderson Arranger, Producer, Orchestration, String Arrangements
Sally Browder Engineer
Skip Edwards Orchestration, String Arrangements
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Tony Rambo Engineer
John "Punkin" Young Tour Manager
Steve Moore Guitar Techician
Jason Robbins Engineer
Jennifer Dejean Office Coordinator
Maureen O'Connor Public Relations
Popglory Art Direction
Eileen Thompson Public Relations
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best songs on album

    I enjoyed this CD by Dwight Yoakam The note worthy songs are, 1.late great golden state, 5.Population me, 10.Back of your hand. If you like Dwight's outher Cd's you will definately like this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must-buy for all CD collections

    Even if you're not a huge C&W or Dwight Yoakam fan, the songs comprising POPULATION ME represent some of the very best of the genre'. Yoakam's vocal range, intonation and style are classic and his selection of material for this collection is legendary. I highly recommend this as a GIFT ITEM for the holidays as EVERYONE WILL LOVE IT! Someday, if we're all lucky, Mr. Yoakam will record a cover-track to CCR's "SUZY Q" and propell himself back to the top of the pop & country charts. Until then, you can satisfy your cravings with a healthy dose of POPULATION ME (although, I have NO IDEA what the title refers to, unless it's a reference to Mr. Yoakam's perpetual bachelorhood?).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another great cd from country music's best artist!

    As usual Dwight Yoakam shines in his latest offering. And as usual, don't expect country music radio stations to give him a tenth of the air time he deserves. With a few exceptions, country radio only plays songs with juvenile lyrics that are filled with cliches and simple-minded ideas. "The Back of Your Hand" has done well commercially so far, and rightfully so. An argument can be made that it is the cd's best song. However, the brilliance of the title track "Population Me" is undeniable. The song is a wonderful compilation of great lyrics, an assortment of instruments, and a tone that stays with the listener long after the song ends. My son says it's "like a love song you'd here in a cowboy ghosttown movie." My two other favorites on the cd are "Fair to Midland" and the duet with Willie Nelson, "If Teardrops Were Diamonds." I hesitate to mention only four songs from the cd, since every song is worthy of praise. So many country cds today run together with songs that all sound alike. It's a pleasure to have an artist like Dwight Yoakam around who experiments with different genres. Loyal Dwight Yoakam fans know that he is the most consistent, talented country music artist of the past twenty years.

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