Retro Single Review: George Strait, "What's Going On In Your World"

1989 | #1

Has the fiddle ever sounded sweeter?

George Strait’s eleventh consecutive #1 single, and seventeenth overall, is an absolutely delicious traditional country weeper.  In a classic country music scenario, Strait’s brokenhearted narrator contacts his former lover to inquire of her welfare in the time since the dissolution of their relationship.

The line “Just tell me that you’re happy, and I’ll hang up the phone” is a perfect lyrical synopsis of the

point at which the narrator has found himself.  His life alone has become hollow and unfulfilling, and the only thing he wishes is for his love to be happy – a sentiment that conveys loneliness as well as bittersweet selflessness, fully realized in Strait’s sincere, unaffected vocal delivery.

Even if the lyrics had not been so potent, “What’s Going On In Your World” would still have legs to stand as an instrumental showcase, thanks in large part to the mourful, crying fiddle that winds through the song.  It’s a testament to the ability of a compelling melody, and a simple no-frills country production to connect with deep-seated emotions, even without a word being sung.

No unnecessary bells or whistles.  Just three minutes and twenty-nine seconds of King George doing what King George does best.

Written by David Chamberlain, Royce Porter, and Red Steagall

Grade:  A

Next:  Ace In the Hole

Previous:  Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye


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