Thursday, March 20, 2014

441 of 1001 Albums: Dwight Yoakam's Buenes Noches From A Lonely Room

So if you grew up in the south as I did, then you probably were around a lot of country music. Maybe your parents left the radio station on it, or perhaps you even rode a bus to school that played it on the radio. It might have even just been your peers that listened to it, or well you were probably the fan yourself. I was a fan of country music in the style of Yoakam when I was a little kid. This is also the first album on the list so far where I heard country music like this.

History: Dwight Yoakam was already having hits with his music from the first two albums, but once again his third album, Buenes Noches From A Lonely Room would be number one on the Billboards once again. He even had country classic, Buck Owens, on the song "Streets of Bakersfield." The album would be a definite hit with fans of his music, and get some good critical feedback.

Vocals: Now I don't really listen to any country music that would be consider 80's and up, but I always did think that if I had to choose any vocals that were particularly appeasing in the style that country shifted to it would be Yoakam. Dwight Yoakam has very noticeable and unique vocals. I also like how he doesn't veer into the nasal sound of singing country. He seems to be singing from a deeper place, and over time he got better about that in his music. He also does create that tragic sounding, sad, vocal that you associate with country tunes so much.

Instrumentals: Another good thing about the album is that country hadn't slipped into that pop sound yet. You can tell it was getting there, but the music wasn't so over produced that you can't hear the individual sounds on the album. You can hear the string instrumentals, the drums, and the bass all very prominently in the tune along with an arrangement of other instrumentals. Yoakam was playing guitar and some percussion for the album as well. While I didn't feel anything was overly stand out, it was at least well played.

Recording: This type of country music seemed to stay popular up through the 90's. This album was made in 1989, so it would be interesting to hear what Yoakam sounded like earlier in the 80's as well. I had no idea this type of country was already becoming popular before I was born. The album though is cohesive in what it presents, and it even features a great classic on one of the songs. For some reason the song just never caught me as anything special though. It has a lot of songs that could become hits on it because listening to them alone they might stand better, but the album as a whole didn't rivet me.

Yoakam has always been one of the more recent cooler guys in country. He writes songs that still have story intertwined in them as some of them do in this album, and he has a voicing that isn't too nasally as other artists in this genre do. With the expectations I had of the album though I can't help but admit I was bit disappointed with what I found.

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