A bad review on one of George Strait's albums typically begins with something like: "George Strait has never made a bad album, but ..." and ends with effusive praise of the singer's timeless style. His smooth, easy delivery on each of his studio albums is universally adored by fans of country. Ranking every George Strait album meant picking a bad berry out of pristine patch.

Perhaps surprising to casual fans of the singer is that he didn't write very many of his hits. In fact, very few of the hundreds of songs Strait has cut since 1981 are credited to him. Often he covers hits or deep cuts by classic country artists like Vern Gosdin or Merle Haggard. The Hag's influence on Strait is undeniable; again and again he chooses a Merle song to fill out a 10-song, 30-minute collection.

In scrolling through this list of Strait's albums, you'll quickly find there is no true golden era. Early '80s albums rest next to albums from the late '00s. Late '90s projects are as good as those from the late '80s, and all of them seem like they'd work today. Subtly Strait has changed. His later years reveal vulnerabilities not audible early on, yet he's always been a master storyteller, capable of telling love stories with the same effective efficiency as he does jukebox rompers.

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