Single Review: George Strait, "Give It All We Got Tonight"

 It’s surely tempting to give George Strait a free pass based on the impressive strength of his back catalog, or even for his regular use of audible fiddle and steel.  But this just doesn’t cut it.

Strait previews his upcoming 28th studio album with a mellow contemporary country love song that suggests what “I Gotta Get to You” might have been without the lively melody and charming fiddle hook.  From “July moonlight shines/ Your pretty little head on my shoulder” to the juvenile couplet of “Baby, fall into my kiss/ It should just happen like this,” the lyrics are thoroughly vanilla, leaning on stock imagery that’s neither interesting nor original.

The melody is so weak, particularly during the awkward-sounding chorus, that any vocalist trying to sell this song would clearly have his work cut out for him.  While George Strait’s strenghts as a vocalist have been well documented over the past thirty years, this song is a poor fit for his voice, leaving him sounding bland instead of highlighting his unique vocal gifts.  Tacky echo effects mar an otherwise solid production job, but overall the record is like water – completely flavorless.

With a lyric and melody that fail to rise above mediocrity, there’s no way for the song to achieve any connection deeper than surface level.  I wanted to like it, but “Give It All We Got Tonight”

is plain boring – an underwhelming disappointment of an entry from an artist who has already secured a place as one of the genre’s all-time greats.

Written by Tim James, Phil O’Donnell and Mark Bright

Grade:  C-

Listen:  Give It All We Got Tonight


  1. …ever tried to fit a pair of cowboy boots into a footlocker sneaker box? that’s about how good the lyrics of this song fit into its melodic frame. it just doesn’t and it’s not the romantic content, which i frankly find slightly less romantic rather than ambitious in a more sporting challenge kind of way. it’s the simple misfit of words and keys in this trainwreck of a song that makes it almost a disturbing listening experience.

    i like the melody in all its glorious boringness, though. it’s rather pretty given that it’s slaughtered by the wrong choice of tempo. slow might be a useful reminder on a traffic sign – here it’s a recipe for desaster.

    drunken martina meets love-drunken george for some hanky-panky. who needs pictures…

  2. …rather misplaced also is “rather” in: …less romantic rather than… where is it should acutally read: …less romantic than rather ambitious…

    sorry folks, i should definitely stick to my no. 1 rule of written engagement: not a word before coffee no. 2!

  3. it’s the simple misfit of words and keys in this trainwreck of a song that makes it almost a disturbing listening experience.

    YES. I was groping for the right words to describe the problems with this song, but I that sentence pins it down.

  4. I liked this much more than you did, although I agree that it is not premium George Strait and it is an odd choice for a single release, although it would be perfectly fine as an album track

    I think that radio may be about through with George, anyway. “Drinkin’ Man”, one of George’s best songs in years, stiffed at radio only reaching #37. This song seems to have peaked at #25 before falling back.

    Anyway, I’d give this a B-

    This song would be better at a slightly faster tempo and with a shorter playing time. Why do artists today feel that they need to stretch 2:30’s worth of material into 4:00 + playing time ?

  5. This is a great George Strait song, and I don’t know why it’s not getting more play on the radio…oh wait, I do, I guess it’s not POPPY enough for today’s modern POP-country music that’s played.

    All you people saying that “Give it all we got tonight,” isn’t a good song, are probably the same people who think Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church, and Taylor Swift make country music, when it’s nothing but poor quality POP music.

    I’m sick of radio ignoring songs like this and others by REAL country musicians cause they want to keep playing this “Dirtroad Anthem” Jason Aldean CRAP!

  6. Chris, I think the review makes clear that my criticism of this song did not lie in the fact that it’s not “poppy.” I even made positive mention of Strait’s “regular use of audible fiddle and steel,” and commented on the excellence of his past material. My issue was that this is a poorly written song that doesn’t suit Strait’s voice, to which your above arguments are not related.

  7. I am a George fan through and through and while the sound of his voice always does something a little cheesy to my heart (I won’t go into horrific analogies.) I still feel like there is something off about him choosing this song. The lyrics seem almost too modern for him. Like, “would George really say that?” This seems like a more appropriate choice for Dierks Bentley, especially if he were to speed up the tempo just a bit. I’ll still crank it up anytime it comes on, though!

  8. Here’s all I have to say:

    Luke Bryan = Good
    Eric Church = Good
    Jason Aldean = Good
    Taylor Swift = Eh

    Positivity is my new favorite.

    Anyways, as for the song it’s alright. B/B- for me.

    I do agree that Dierks could do this fairly well.

  9. I dunno. This definitely sounds like the kind of song that Dierks Bentley might record, but while I’m not a huge fan of his vocal style in general, I have a hard time imagining him breathing much life into this melody.

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