Picks and Pans Review: Livin'it Up

updated 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

George Strait

Country music fans should be glad Strait is around to entertain them now, but he also would have made a terrific band vocalist in the Swing Era—maybe not a Frank Sinatra but certainly a Jack Leonard or Bob Eberly.

Smooth and flexible, Strait can go convincingly from the romantic ballad "We're Supposed to Do That Now and Then" to Conway Twitty's brawny pre-barroom brawl tune. "She Loves Me (She Don't Love You)" and then to Aaron Barker's sentimental tune about parenthood, "Love Without End, Amen." Moreover, Strait gives an invigorating variety to his albums without ever straying too far from the most basic kind of country sound.

Strait's easy, warm sound probably shouldn't surprise anyone anymore, since George has had 20 No. 1 singles in the last 10 years, but it's still a treat to hear. (MCA)

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