George Strait, "How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls" (It Just Comes Natural, MCA Nashville 2006 / 22 More Hits, MCA Nashville 2007)

At the start of this year, I said, in a review of King George’s It Just Comes Natural:

“How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” is a case in point: Strait’s been happily married to his high-school sweetheart for around 35 years, yet this airy, steel-guitar-kissed ode to cowgirls sounds completely honest and believable coming from his golden throat. (It helps that the song’s not a Trace Adkins-esque lust-charged ode but a simple “Aren’t they great, aren’t they somethin’?” tribute.) No one evokes the wide-open spaces of the North American plains the way Strait does, and no one does it better, either. It’s his best single song since 2001’s “Run.”

I’m glad I got this one right (it was, in fact, the only song on the album I made a point of singling out for praise). I’ve been listening to it quite a bit lately, due to his performance of it on the CMA Awards and its lead-off position on the new 22 More Hits (quibble with that album: where the hell is “Give It Away”?), and it’s a sure bet for my Nashville Scene ballot – this is near-perfect country music, contemporary and timeless (cliché but true). Hell, but for a few production tweaks, this damned near could’ve come out 30 years ago. Tony Brown mixes a subtle string section in with the song’s inherent, necessary twang expertly, while Strait gives yet another assured, lovely (really) vocal to a lyric that deserves it. This isn’t just an ode to cowgirls, but really to all independent women – it’s almost the gender-flipped version of Shania’s “She’s Not Just A Pretty Face,” only better. Thank God Strait’s still making records like this, because someone needs to be, and it might as well be the one who’s best at it.


About thomasinskeep

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One Response to George Strait, "How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls" (It Just Comes Natural, MCA Nashville 2006 / 22 More Hits, MCA Nashville 2007)

  1. I actually bought this album based on your Stylus review. Months later, I still listen to this record every few weeks and enjoy it a lot. This song is great but the song that really grabbed my attention is “He Must Have Really Hurt You Bad”.


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