With George Strait announcing a retirement from the road after his next tour, it's tempting to gush all over his new single 'Give It All We Got Tonight' like a school girl going on about a cute new teacher. A wave of nostalgia threatens objectivity, even though Strait will still be recording after 2014. The first song from his upcoming new album can be summed up in three words...


OK, the country legend's longtime fans will offer a more considered reaction to the smooth, buttery lyric in 'Give It All We Got Tonight.' It's a rarely matched romancer with more sensory cues than just about everything he's ever cut. After just a single listen, one breathes in the smell of a summer shower garnished with sweet perfume or rugged cologne.

"Baby fall into my kiss / It should just happen like this / Trust it, so much that there's no one else but us and / This moment that says it's so right / Cause that's all we have in this life / Drink up this love baby / Give it all we got tonight," Strait sings during the chorus. It's not his best pure vocal performance, but the imagery used by writers Mark Bright, Phil O’Donnell and Tim James more than fill in any gaps.

"Summer honeysuckle leaking through the rolled down window / We both know when that seat lays back / Anything can happen / So imagine it will never end / Just close your eyes and you can see / That we are where we're meant to be," he adds during the second verse.

The warmth of this story begins much earlier, however, as Strait sings with conviction about falling in love for the first time. He's been married to Norma for decades, yet it sounds like they just drove his old pick up truck down that secluded drive in the woods for the first time last weekend.

"Oh my God you're something / Like nothing I've ever seen / If I'm asleep girl let me dream." Such simple words, yet somehow they're so powerful.

In years past, Strait has been unfairly accused of putting his music on cruise control. A more astute fan notices the subtle differences between albums. His best songs are timeless, seemingly capable of becoming a hit in the '80s, '90s or 2000s. Add 'Give It All We Got Tonight' to a list of his all-time classics. If recorded George Strait is the only George Strait we get after 2014, it's clear that will plenty suffice.

4.5 Stars

Listen to George Strait, 'Give It All We Got Tonight'

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