Yoakam waxes cerebral on his latest effort, from the clever title song, which urges us to "blame the vain for what we wear," to "Just Passin' Time," which essentially rationalizes doing nothing. Even if the philosophical mood drags a bit at times, the music maintains a spirited tone, with the help of players such as nimble guitarist Keith Gattis and versatile keyboardist Skip Edwards. "Intentional Heartache," about a jilted woman smashing her car into her ex's pickup and driving through his mother's garden, is a welcome change of pace, with its Bakersfield jangle and unapologetic silliness. And "I Wanna Love Again," a musical nod to Yoakam's mentor Buck Owens, boosts the energy too.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Blame the Vain"