Single Review: George Strait, “I Got a Car”

George Strait I Got a CarHave we reached the point yet where a solid George Strait single should bring on waves of deep gratitude?

He’s been so good for so long that it’s easy to take him for granted.  Maybe it’s radio’s sudden unwillingness to play him in heavy rotation, or the bittersweet sadness brought on by his farewell tour.  But I’ve never been more aware that the music will eventually stop coming from him.

“I Got a Car” isn’t anything revolutionary or Single of the Year worthy.  It’s just a good song elevated by a master storyteller who can make the most pedestrian conversation sound interesting.  There’s so much back story in his voice, still strong but weathered by time, that adds layers of meaning here.   This is a potential romance between two older people who are trying to start over again, and stumble upon a chance at real love and starting a family.

It wouldn’t sound like that if even the best of the new singers were singing it.   Not because they aren’t good.  They just haven’t lived enough yet.   Maybe twenty years from now, somebody else will write about how much more interesting a song sounds because they’re singing it instead of whoever the new kid on the block is then.

I hope we’ll get a few more good ones from this guy before he’s gone.

Written by Tom Douglas and Keith Gattis

Grade: B+



  1. I love the song, just like pretty much everything that King George sings. It’s interesting to read your interpretation of the song, though. When George first released Love Is Everything, I thought the song was too young for him (if you’re picky about that sort of thing). To me, the song sounds more suited to the story of two younger people who are just starting out. Young and free, with nothing to lose, they set out to escape the small town they grew up in, and end up settling down and starting a family.

  2. I agree with Kevin – in the hands of a younger singer this song would sound superficial. I’m not wild about the production – I’d strip out the rock guitars and substitute steel, but otheriwise this is a stellar performance

    Sometimes this sort of drama plays out at a later age

  3. I actually typically don’t like Strait. I understand his status as a legend, but his material is often so unspectacular, and I just expect so more from a guy who’s called “the King of Country Music”.

    That being said, I really like this song. These two characters are the strongest on country radio right now, and it’s been too long since we’ve had a genuine story song get released.

  4. Let’s not forget George did sign a five album extension deal with MCA Records, so he isn’t leaving us anytime soon. New music will keep coming for the foreseeable future. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

    Has George recorded far stronger songs than “I Got A Car?” Yes, he has. But it’s still great to know that songs such as this are still being written today.

  5. to SRM. I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way regaring G. Strait as I do. He is a good singer and his songs are always good, but yet I never hear anything great. Again, always good just never great. Part of it may be because I am such a fan of early 70’s country songs and country just has never measured up to those great songs since.

  6. I quit listening to radio several years ago, but if I still did, I’d be stoked that this was selected as a single from that album. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it, back last year when I bought the CD the day it dropped. I’m in the camp that felt it was a bit “young” for King George at this point in his life and career, but it works so well that I didn’t mind.

    But really, since we don’t know how much time passes within the song, there’s no way to know how much time has passed between the events and the telling of them (i.e., the song itself), so there’s no reason that it couldn’t be an older guy recounting something from his younger days.

    Right now, King George is about to play his final performance here in Louisville. Vince Gill is opening and should be taking the stage shortly. I’m glad I’ve gotten to see Strait perform three times already, or I’d be especially upset at missing tonight’s show!

  7. The third verse waters it down a bit. Otherwise, it’d be my favorite song of the year. It might be anyway. He makes it sound so easy.

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