This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With his 40th (!) studio album, "Love is Everything," now in stores, George Strait is not one to surprise us, especially as he turned 61 the same week the album came out. There are no songs flavored with EDM, or songs with LL Cool J that will embarrass him and racial relations in the United States. There is an easy-going comfort in Strait that makes him perfect for quiet nights at home, but you will not hear this album playing loudly at tailgate parties at Kenny Chesney or Florida Georgia Line concerts. Strait wrote or co-wrote four of the album's 13 songs, working again with his son Bubba (!), longtime writing collaborator Dean Dillon, and producer Tony Brown, the latter whom has been with him since 1992 (!). With his traditional western-swing accompaniment of acoustic guitar, tasteful telecaster, honky-tonk piano, plaintive pedal steel and fiddle, Strait risks nothing, as if he is 101 years old. But when you have a voice that is deeper than the Marianas Trench with the right amount of twang, in the end, Strait needs no exclamation points, and still is appealing.