June 4, 2005
Blame The Vain
When Dwight Yoakam releases a new album, one thing is certain: you’re going to hear a lot of different variations on the singular theme of heartbreak. In just about every song he writes – and he wrote them all here – he’s been dumped, or is about to get dumped, or is doing the dumping himself. Blame The Vain is no exception.
What is new, and refreshing, is the decidedly retro flavor that has Dwight using the simplest and cleanest production since his earliest records. The songs are strong enough to pull this approach off – a classic country weeper like “Does It Show” needs no bells and whistles (or Mariachi horns, which have saturated Yoakam’s recent work.) His dry wit shines on the title track and “Three Good Reasons.”
I have no idea what the hell is going on in the first minute of “She’ll Remember” – Dwight speaking in fake British accent over what sounds like a soundtrack to a B-level Sci-Fi film – but I can offer no insights, just that it made me laugh out loud.
Other than that 60-second detour, this is just another Dwight Yoakam album – well-sung, well-writtten and well-produced. Twenty years and nearly as many albums into his career, he’s as good as ever. In this one-hit wonder era of country music, a legend still at the top of his game is both comforting and immensly satisfying to hear.