Entertainment Weekly - 11/18/94, p.108
"...Strait has too much grace to make a bad album..." - Rating: B
Personnel: George Strait (vocals); Brent Mason (acoustic & electric guitars), Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Steve Nathan (organ, synthesizer), Glenn Worf (bass); Eddie Bayers (drums); Curtis Young, Liana Manis (background vocals).
Personnel: Steve Gibson , Brent Mason (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Paul Franklin , Buddy Emmons (steel guitar); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Matt Rollings (piano, keyboards); Steve Nathan (organ, synthesizer); Eddie Bayers (drums); Curtis Young, Liana Manis (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Guess.
Recording information: Emerald Sound Studios; Sound Stage Studio.
Photographer: Jarrett Gaza.
Everyone loves George Strait. From country fans to rock critics, George Strait is singled out as the PURE country artist. On LEAD ON, his admirers have new reason to follow.
His unadulterated country sound, awash in steel, fiddles and clean guitar picking, is swept by the deep waves of his distinctive Texas baritone. From the cajun dance beat of "Adalida" to the maxi-traditional "I Met A Friend Of Yours Today," Strait runs the gamut of tasty and tasteful country. No filler, no radio junkfood, just a lesson to all the wannabes, this is Country Music 101.
"Nobody Gets Hurt," by Jim Lauderdale (a Strait favorite) and Terry McBride, is a contemporary country classic with an old-time bass shuffle that makes it sound warmly familiar. "Down Louisiana Way" sounds like a frisky Lucinda Williams cover. "The Big One" is classic Straitabilly, an unobtrusive marriage of rock and country. "Lead On" is a gentle ballad, with dead-on delivery and phrasing.
Every cut is restrained, no excesses, but there's no holding back either. The tear in Strait's beer is as salty as any other country singer, and when he hurts you hear the sting. LEAD ON is like a greatest hits package: diverse, familiar, and of the highest quality. Only George Strait can pull off such a feat with ten new songs.