Love Is Everything by George Strait

George doesn’t exactly blaze any new trails here, but then again, why would he need to? Like his other previous works, Love Is Everything further showcases George’s smooth voice and, perhaps more importantly, his uncanny knack for picking outstanding songs.

The album does offer up some reflective material, appropriate for someone in his sixth decade who welcomed a grandchild not long ago. He seems perfectly typecast, if you will, for “When the Credits Roll,” which essentially compares life to a movie. The contemplative tune asks the big question, I wonder what the critic will say? when it all comes to an end and those final credits roll. A powerful chorus and George’s credible delivery bring this one home.

But the navel-gazing is sweetly balanced by “The Night Is Young,” written by George, his son Bubba and Dean Dillon, and featuring a rousing horn section, and the Western swing-y “I Thought I Heard My Heart Sing,” complete with a lengthy instrumental break at the close.

The opening track, “I Got a Car,” shows George’s ability as a storyteller and ends up traveling down a path that you might not expect.

The only wrong turns come with “Blue Melodies,” so achingly slow it should be timed with a calendar, and the just-average “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing.”

Overall, though, you can proudly add this to your Strait collection.

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