Somewhere Down in Texas

Somewhere Down in Texas

5.0 6
by George Strait
     
 
Typical of George Strait's best albums, Somewhere Down in Texas is, on first blush, another solid, affectingly performed collection of ballads and shuffles. Dig below the surface, though, and you'll uncover ideas -- ideas about communication breakdowns between the sexes, about a certain fatalism regarding love affairs, and nostalgia for simpler times. A cover

Overview

Typical of George Strait's best albums, Somewhere Down in Texas is, on first blush, another solid, affectingly performed collection of ballads and shuffles. Dig below the surface, though, and you'll uncover ideas -- ideas about communication breakdowns between the sexes, about a certain fatalism regarding love affairs, and nostalgia for simpler times. A cover of Merle Haggard's "The Seashores of Old Mexico" is lilting, string-laced, and sunny, a comforting backdrop for Strait's restrained yearning for a simpler life among the common folk south of the border. "Texas" is a mid-tempo love letter to his home state, as Strait, over a backdrop of fiddles, pedal steel, and twangy guitar, hums his pledge of allegiance to his home turf (the lyrics include a wry paraphrase of the title of one of his establishing hits, as he croons that without Texas "Fort Worth would never cross my mind"). Lee Ann Womack and Strait co-wrote the poignant heartbreaker "Good News, Bad News," and she sits in for a potent point/counterpoint duet, ready to break the bad news of her new love interest to Strait after he smoothly quantifies the depth of his love for her. "She Let Herself Go" is both a low-key, Strait-patented shuffle and a poignant exercise in semantics, as the artist moans his story about a woman who responds to his dumping her by partying hard, everywhere she can; her lifestyle choices put a double-edged spin on Strait's blues-inflected lament that she "let herself go" -- in his eyes a bad thing, in hers an energizing concept. As always, Strait delivers more than meets the ear, and he gets better at it all the time.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
George Strait has been so good for so long that it's easy to take him for granted, and Somewhere Down in Texas -- his 28th album, if you're keeping score -- is the kind of album that's easy to take for granted, since its scope and scale are so modest. Which isn't to say that it's dull: it's just that it's such a low-key, assured album, it's easy to overlook the craft and skill involved in its production, particularly because Strait always makes his music sound so effortless. He never changes, always staying within the confines of pure country, but part of his genius is that he has an excellent ear for material, picking songs that uphold the hardcore country traditions of George Jones and Merle Haggard yet feel fresh and contemporary. He also knows how to group these songs together, sustaining a mood throughout a full album. If 2003's Honkytonkville was a lean, tough honky tonk record, this 2005 sequel is its more sedate, introspective flip side. There are still moments that are pure honky tonk -- from the mid-tempo anthem "If the Whole World Was a Honky Tonk" to the quick two-step "High Tone Woman" -- but this is a gentle, nostalgic, ballad-heavy affair that takes its tone from Strait's terrific cover of Hag's sweet, lazy (and often overlooked) "The Seashores of Old Mexico." It's a warm, occasionally bittersweet, often soothing collection of perfectly pitched, reflective tunes, ranging from the clever breakup tale "She Let Herself Go" and the Lone Star valentine "Texas" to the excellent slow duet with Lee Ann Womack, "Good News, Bad News." Again, there's nothing new or surprising here, but it's a completely satisfying listen thanks to the strong material, sustained mood, and Strait's unhurried, confident performance. These have been hallmarks of Strait's work throughout the decades, and they haven't let him down yet, nearly 30 years and 30 albums into his career, as Somewhere Down in Texas proves.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Mca Nashville
UPC:
0602498810705
catalogNumber:
000444602
Rank:
34599

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Strait   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Matt Rollings   Synthesizer,Piano
Steve Gibson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Bob Bailey   Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Nashville String Machine   Strings
Steve Nathan   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Chris Rodriguez   Background Vocals
Glenn Worf   Bass,Bass Guitar
Lisa Cochran   Background Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Casey Wood   Percussion
Marty Slayton   Background Vocals
Jaime Babbitt   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
George Strait   Producer,Audio Production
Buddy Brock   Composer
Walt Aldridge   Composer
Craig Allen   Art Direction
Richie Biggs   Engineer
Charlie Black   Composer
Tony Brown   Producer,Audio Production
Bob Bullock   Engineer
Dean Dillon   Composer
Kyle Lehning   Engineer
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
Bryant Simpson   Composer
Bergen White   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Philip White   Composer
Richard Hanson   Engineer
Chuck Ainlay   Engineer
Lee Ann Womack   Composer
Jeff Silvey   Composer
Monty Holmes   Composer
Tim Ryan Rouillier   Composer
Leslie Satcher   Composer
Dale Dodson   Composer
Clint Daniels   Composer
Michael White   Composer
Steven Dale Jones   Composer
Kerry Kurt Phillips   Composer
Dana Hunt Black   Composer
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Cory Mayo   Composer
Tony Martin   Composer
Wade Kirby   Composer

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Somewhere Down in Texas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased all of his recordings. I have set of albums, tapes, and now cds. I think he's great. He sings all types of country! George Strait is CLASS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all the songs on this new CD.I think it is one of his best CD's. I love the song If The Whole World Was A Honky Tonk.I can just heard George and the Ace In The Hole band jamming to this one in concert.I think it will be a really good concert song.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cant hear enough of the song "You'll be there on the radio". Geroge Strait did it again! Keep em' coming George
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a grait new single by the King himself. "YOU'LL BE THERE" is a classic Strait song that shows the modern sound of meaning and emotion of today's country music. I'm sure everyone that listens to this single can relate to it some how. This single is proving to be the best so far for George Strait on the charts. Even after all his hits, this has been the fastest single of his to climb the chart. This will be his 52nd #1 in my opinion and is already his 71st top 10. "YOU'LL BE THERE" is only the first release off the new cd. I can't wait to hear the other singles. Lets hear it for the KING!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago