My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: George Strait – ‘Living For The Night’

Strait Honestly, I’ve never been a big George Strait fan. I’ve known some of his songs, his more recent hits, and on a whim I bought Troubadour this past January. When I got it, there were a few good tracks, but it never caught with me and I stopped listening to it.

However, this new Strait single from his upcoming album Twang is a whole other story: I love it.

It’s not very twangy, which is ironic, but it’s a very solid single from an artists who is aptly described by solid. In “Living For The Night”, Strait sings of how he can’t live without his ex. He can’t stand the day, so he draws the curtains and waits for the night, the only thing he thinks will comfort him. It’s a nice idea, if not the most original, but the way the song is written is fresh and makes this song feel new and original, even if it’s not:

Daylight can’t hide the tears I cry
The pain that came with your goodbye
The memories that keep me out of sight
Every night I venture out into those neon arms
That hold me tight
I’m living for the night

It’s a nice turn of phrase, and it just sounds interesting. It’s odd that I’ve never had an experience like the one Strait’s describing, but I still find myself identifying with the feeling, the intense sorrow he’s describing- it’s something that few songs can do, but I really feel what he’s singing.

Like I said earlier, this song has very little twang, but just enough. The soft pulsing guitar (The newest trend in Nashville, like “Dead Flowers” by Miranda Lambert, “I Just Call You Mine” by Martina McBride and “Indian Summer” by Brooks & Dunn?) in the background keeps this song from feeling too slow, giving just enough energy to drive it forward. Throughout, strings and a just enough country instrumentation keep this song firmly rooted in country music. Strait sings well of course, but it’s nothing too difficult to sing, and he conveys exactly what’s necessary for the song. This song doesn’t need impressive vocals, it just needs the right emotion, and he gives it that.

This single has done something very few Strait singles do: make me excited for his new album. Hopefully Twang will be better than Troubadour. This single is very solid and sad, a great combination if you ask me.

Grade: A-

Written by: George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon

Buy “Living For The Night” off iTunes.

Listen to George Strait – ‘Living For The Night’.

12 responses to “Single Review: George Strait – ‘Living For The Night’

  1. Leeann Ward June 16, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I think it may actually be that “pulsing guitar” that completely loses me on this song. I’ve never liked that sound, because it’s always sounded generic and fake to me. Perhaps without it, I’d like the song a little better. “Troubadour” grew on me, so maybe this one will too, though I think “Troubadour’s production turns out to be better. From the comments on my review of the song, it seems that I’m in the minority though. So, what do I know?:)

  2. Chris June 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I completely see how people could hate the guitar in the background, mostly because it’s so not-country. I just like it because I’m odd, I guess.

  3. Jake June 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I think it’s funny that the production is what people don’t like as I think that’s what saves this song. The emotion that George puts in it, I think, saves the lyrics from being cliche. Otherwise, this has a very early 90’s country vibe to it IMO.

  4. Leeann Ward June 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Jake,
    I hear the nineties country influence you’re talking about, but not the part of the nineties that I embraced. It more reminds me of the John Michael Montgomery style of doing things.:(

    • Razor X June 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

      It’s a different sound for George, all right, but isn’t that what a lot of people have been calling for him to do? People used to complain that he didn’t branch out enough and try different styles. And then we he does, they complain again. This isn’t directed at you, Leeann, it’s just something I’ve been noticing for quite some time when George Strait is being discussed. Maybe because he’s been around for so long, we tend to take him for granted.

      At any rate, I like this song. It’s not his best, but I liked it enough to download it from iTunes.

      • Leeann Ward June 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

        I know what you mean, Razor. People certainly do complain that he always sounds the same. Personally, though, I never called for Strait to change his sound, just like I never felt the need for Jackson to do it either. The thing I maybe want Strait to do is be more adventurous with song selection (those can admittedly run together at times), but not necessarily production. With that said, I suppose my biggest problem with the song is that it just doesn’t do anything for me. I’m just bored by it. It’s certainly not awful though.

        • Razor X June 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

          Does anybody know who produced this track and the upcoming album, BTW? I’m assuming that he had to find a new producer now that Tony Brown left Universal for Big Machine. That may account for the different sound.

        • Jake June 17, 2009 at 10:58 am

          Leeann, I’ll also admit that it’s not anything I’d be ready to put on my I-pod, but if it comes on a radio I wouldn’t have the urge to change the station.

          Also, I agree that there is a growing trend of this new guitar sound, but I’m glad that George seems to be the only one who can use this sound and make it still sound like it fits on country radio.

  5. macgeek61 June 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

    omg..anyone catch this: Written by: George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon ? WOW!!!
    Check out my concert pics from a few weeks ago, he did this song and people went nuts!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/macgeek61/sets/72157619281528836/

  6. dave July 9, 2009 at 11:55 am

    it doesnt sound nineties to me. He co-wrote this with his son and I think it has a little to do with his daughter dieing. so, i think its a little personal for him and his son. I love the song, b/c myself, ive been there. I guess if you have never been in that situation, then the song probably won’t mean as much. Thats the good thing about country music (real country music) its related to real life. at least hes not doing a video with some rap star. thats not country to me, but what do i know i’ve only been a real country fan for 30 years.

  7. Marjorie Mendenhall July 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    This song is flat out the best, most heartwrenching song George has done in years. If you have ever lost a love, you will know exactly the pain you have to live with, and these lyrics tell it perfectly.
    The music is a welcome relief from all the 2 or 3 note repetitious songs we hear constantly. At least this one has melody and the guitar has that lovely, lonely feeling.

  8. oklin April 6, 2010 at 2:58 am

    yea great blog !! a lot of usefull infos thanks and keep up the good work!! PS: take a look at my blog

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