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Strait Out of the Box

Box Sets and Country album by George Strait

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The Strait and Narrow

  • Aug 13, 2003
Rating:
+5
Few mainstream artists can honestly say that every album or song they have cranked out truly represents them. George Strait can. This boxed set is what all other boxed sets should be measured by: top-notch hits, sentimental favorites, and songs from throughout a career. This set is the perfect introduction to Mr. Strait for anyone who wants to learn more about him. The liner notes alone are worth the cost. Strait gives personal commentary on each song and why it was put in the set. He tells you his likes and dislikes, as well as reasons why he prefers to sing songs written by others and not himself. You'll find out that "Marina Del Rey" has something in it that doesn't sit quite right with Strait.

Disc-wise, all four have something on them that is sure to please. Big hits are included as well as a few early tunes written by Strait. I could go into detail about the songs, but all I really need to say is that every song in this set belongs for a reason.

Strait's sound never really strays too far from formula, and that's special, because most artists today come out with one or two solid efforts that don't really catch on with the mainstream crowd and either they or the record company changes them into some silly wannabe pop act or something along those lines. The only time Strait really changed was for the "Pure Country" soundtrack, but even songs like "Heartland" fit Strait's persona. That album also gave us a real gem in the song "Overnight Male." That song single-handedly woke up a bland pop-country audience and introduced them to some old-time, dirty country that seems to be lost today.

Granted, some people may say that Strait made a few gimmicky songs that helped push his career along, but all of these songs have their place in the Strait catalogue. None of them sound out of character, unlike some artists(LoneStar, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, etc.)who find they can make their wallets fatter by putting out so-called country that easily crosses over into the pop category. I'll bet good money that you won't here the words "They call me the fireman..." uttered on a Top 40 station.

In closing, if you want a taste of a real country artist with mass appeal and who never sold out, get this boxed set. It will let you hear what a legitimate country superstar is.

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About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this album

Wiki

When the hits come as effortlessly as they do to Strait, it's easy for an artist to lose interest. The man who ushered in country's hat-act era has spent a career bouncing from lifeless and fluffy to hard and soulful. This four-CD box tells the story from 1976 (when he cut the first of three singles for Houston indie D Records) through 1995. At his best--"Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," for example--he defines the modern heart song, but lightweight stuff such as "Hollywood Squares" won't win him new converts.--John Morthland
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Details

Label: Mca Nashville
Artist: George Strait
Release Date: September 12, 1995

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"The Strait and Narrow"
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