My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Dale Watson – ‘I Hate These Songs’

MI0000139086Dale Watson released his completely self-penned third album, I Hate These Songs, in 1997. Produced once again by Bruce Bromberg, the album failed to chart and didn’t produce any singles.

The album itself contains fourteen tracks. The record opens strong, with the excellent “Jack’s Truck Stop and Café,” a story song embellished with a lovely arrangement soaked with fiddle and steel.

Watson spends the rest of the album convincingly channeling Waylon Jennings and throwing back to the lovely honky-tonk country that was popular in the 1960s. I Hate These Songs is a real delight, with the fiddle and steel that prominently drench every track.

I will admit that I’m a newcomer to Watson’s brand of country music. I’ve never listened to his work before writing this review. I knew exactly what to expect in his sound, but he’s even better than I could’ve imagined.

Watson’s sound on I Hate These Songs is a beautiful hybrid of Jennings along with the distinctive style Dave Dudley popularized back in the day. I was blown away by the mid-tempo chug of “Hey Driver,” another of Watson’s famous truckin’ anthems, and a brilliant blending of twangy lead guitar and copious helpings of steel. “Hair of the Dog” is a perfect ode to Jennings, from the distinctive guitar work to Watson’s unmistakable baritone.

The title track isn’t a message about the album itself so much as a sorrow-filled reflection from a man viewing the world through the influence of alcohol. It’s also a fantastic barroom ballad.

In reality, there isn’t a wrong note to be found on I Hate These Songs. Watson has perfectly crafted a cohesive project that plays like a complete work from beginning to end. I may not have checked him out before, but after taking the time to listen to I Hate These Songs, I’m excited to listen to what else his catalog has in store.

Grade: A

One response to “Album Review: Dale Watson – ‘I Hate These Songs’

  1. Paul W Dennis June 9, 2015 at 7:39 am

    In contrast to the title, I loved These Songs. As Jonathan said there isn’t a false step in the album. The band is tight and cohesive and the voice matches the songs perfectly

    There is much more good music in the Dale Watson catalogue

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