Q - 7/93, p.1003 Stars
- Good - "...Strait takes Texan honky-tonk and masculine ballads of romantic regret, and delivers impeccably. He may wear his heart deep inside those famously well-pressed cowboy shirts...but you can hear it beating all the same..."
Personnel: George Strait (vocals); Pat Flynn, Randy Scruggs (acoustic guitar); Brent Rowan, Brent Mason, Steve Gibson, Dean Parks (electric guitar); George Doering (guitar); Doug Livingston, Buddy Emmons, Sonny Garrish (steel guitar); Glen Duncan, Stuart Duncan, Richard Greene (fiddle); John Barlow Jarvis, Steve Nathan, Pat Coil (piano); Emory Gordy, Jr., Glenn Worf, David Hungate, Neil Stubenhaus (bass); Owen Hale, Eddie Bayers, John Robinson (drums); Liana Manis, Harry Stinson, Curtis Young, Andrea Zonn (background vocals).
Personnel: George Strait (vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, electric guitar); Glen Duncan (guitar, fiddle); George Doering (guitar); Pat Flynn , Randy Scruggs (acoustic guitar); Steve Gibson , Brent Mason , Brent Rowan (electric guitar); Doug Livingston, Sonny Garrish, Buddy Emmons (steel guitar); Richard Greene , Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Pat Coil, John Jarvis, Steve Nathan (piano); John "J.R." Robinson , Eddie Bayers, Owen Hale (drums); Curtis Young, Harry Stinson, Andrea Zonn, Liana Manis (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chuck Ainlay; John Guess; Ray Pyle.
Recording information: 16th Ave Sound, Los Angeles, CA; Emerald Studios; Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; SoundStage Studios; Stoundstage, Los Angeles, CA; Warner Studios Burbank, CA.
Arranger: Steve Dorff .
George Strait is one of the leading proponents of a traditional country music that is styled with Texas swing, delivering his music with a rich, no frills voice and a straight-ahead delivery.
PURE COUNTRY is the soundtrack to Strait's film debut, offering a variety of swinging shuffles, traditional honky tonk, weepy ballads and country rockers. He wears his influences proudly, and having been doing it so well for so long, he has, in turn, become a major influence on the next generation of new traditionalists. One can clearly hear Merle Haggard, Bob Wills and George Jones in his music; but give a listen to new guys like Clay Walker, and you'll hear a distinctive George Strait influence.
Riding a flat-bed of fiddle, pedal steel and genuinely heartfelt vocals, Strait takes the listener on a tour of the country singer's world. On the uptempo "Heartland," George explains that to "sing a song about the heartland" is to "sing a song about my life." The album's hit, "I Cross My Heart," is a strong love ballad co-written by one of Nashville's best current songwriters, Eric Kaz. A gentle fiddle leads the listener into the cry-in-your-beer classic "When Did You Stop Loving Me," and before long the fiddle is weeping alongside George. Strait cuts loose on several songs, but its the trademark hard country tracks like Mel Tillis' "Thoughts Of A Fool" that work best. Jim Lauderdale provides the strongest and most traditional sounding material (particularly "King Of Broken Hearts"), yet both of his songs have clever, modern musical twists.