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updated: 5/14/2013 3:50 PM

George Strait still cruisin' in the studio

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  • George Strait, "Love is Everything"

      George Strait, "Love is Everything"
    Associated Press/MCA Nashville

 
Associated Press

George Strait, "Love Is Everything" (MCA Nashville)
George Strait is amid a two-year tour before retiring from the road, but new album "Love Is Everything" proves he still has plenty of great new country music in him.

As usual, he proves he can stay contemporary, nicely handling the modern romantic ballad "I Believe," with its orchestrations and organ accents, and the tricky melody of "Give It All We Got Tonight," his current hit.

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For all his modern moves, it's on the more traditional cuts that Strait excels, directly contradicting all the current Music Row trends. The steel-guitar-drenched "Blue Melodies" and the delightfully fiddle-driven "I Thought I Heard My Heart Sing" are reminders of how outstanding Strait is at classic country.

The album's only misstep arrives with "Got A Car," a first-person story of young love that would have been better left to a more age-appropriate vocalist.

For the most part, the best of "Love Is Everything" would have stood out on any of his albums in the last 32 years. Which means this veteran may hang up his traveling boots, but his consistency as a recording artist isn't slowing down.

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