Friday, July 15, 2016

Listening to George, part 7

1998
If you want to follow along with this project, all related posts are tagged George Strait Project. This post will cover the years 1998-1999.

George Strait's eighteenth album starts out with one of my all-time favorite songs: "I Just Want To Dance With You." (How could anyone resist a whistling George?!) It's more than a little obvious what this one is about. What may not be conveyed is how sweet this one actually is.
I caught you looking at me when I looked at you
Yes, I did; ain't that true?
You won't get embarrassed by the things I do
I just want to dance with you
Other singles from this album include "True," and "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This." "True" is a love song. One of those forever-and-ever love songs.
True, like the sun comin' up each mornin'.
Bright as the light in a baby's smile.
Sure as the mountain river windin'.
Right as the rain fallin' from the sky.
Girl, my love for you
Is true.
"We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This" is obviously about a forbidden 'romance' of sorts. It is super-playful and catchy.
Only an isolated incident, but the acquaintance left me stunned.
The first attraction was the hardest hit I thought I'd ever overcome.
This kinda situation has to pass, this chance encounter has to be the last.
To take it further we would be remiss, we really shouldn't be doing this.
We'd each be hurting somebody else if we don't say our good-byes real fast.
Won't even think about a farewell kiss, we really shouldn't be doing this.
Well...
Other songs on the album include "One Step At A Time," a song recording a conversation between two men, he's warning him that angels walk away one step at a time; "Remember the Alamo", a song not about the actual battle of the Alamo but more of a rallying cry to save a relationship (he proposed at the Alamo);  "Maria," a song that may or may not prove offensive to women or Mexicans; "Why Not Now," a laid-back yet flirty song with a great little chorus:
So why not now, why not here?
Darlin' my heart just ain't too clear
Oh what are we waiting for
Cause I've never been so sure
Why not you, why not me
Livin' like we were meant to be
Together, forever
Why not now
"That's The Breaks" is a song about the end of a relationship. (George sings A LOT of those, you'll find). "Neon Row" features another relationship in trouble. This time it is the woman stepping out and not coming home. "You Haven't Left Me Yet" is about a guy struggling to get over the woman who left him.

1999
Always Never the Same is George Strait's nineteenth album. It features the singles "Meanwhile," "Write This Down," and "What Do You Say To That."

 "Meanwhile" is a melancholy almost-love song. He has a new love that he's wooing, yet, meanwhile in his head he's stuck in the past deeply in love with the one that got away. "Write This Down" is a GREAT let's-not-break-up song. He is doing his best to convince her to STAY.
Baby, write this down, take a little note to remind you in case you didn't know,
Tell yourself I love you and I don't want you to go, write this down.
Take my words, read 'em every day, keep 'em close by, don't you let 'em fade away,
So you'll remember what I forgot to say, write this down.
I'll sign it at the bottom of the page, I'll swear under oath
'Cause every single word is true, and I think you need to know,
So use it as a bookmark, stick it on your 'frigerator door,
Hang it in a picture frame up above the mantel where you'll see it for sure.
"What Do You Say to That" is a sweet little love song. 

"That's The Truth" reminds me of Famous Last Words of A Fool--as far as theme goes. "Peace of mind" is an easy-going, happy to be alive song. "That's Where I Want To Take Our Love" is a sweet little love song. It's a very settling-down, let's-raise-a-family type love song. "Always Never The Same" is a fast-and-flirty love song with a LOT of happy-making piano bits! "One of You" is another fast-and-happy love song. (It isn't the only country song with counting in it.)
Last night I had a dream, dreamt I had it all I had it all
I had one truck, one car
One boat, one guitar
But all these things wouldn't get me too far
If I didn't have one of you
I work hard every day to bring home all my pay
I got one house, one yard
One dog who likes to bark
We'd be cold, living the dark if I didn't have one of you
"I Look At You" is another love song. (Some albums lean heavy towards love; some albums lean towards being all sad-and-lonely. This album obviously is very much LOVE.) That being said, 4 Minus 3 Equals Zero is very much a SAD song. Is it the saddest George sings, that's a good question. I think it's in the top three of the saddest-songs. 


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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