Single Review: Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart”

Dwight Yoakam Second Hand Heart

“Second Hand Heart”
Dwight Yoakam

Written by Dwight Yoakam

Easily his strongest single since “The Back of Your Hand”,  Dwight Yoakam is at his best on his new release, “Second Hand Heart.”

Returning to the weathered heartache territory that he does better than anyone else, “Second Hand Heart” captivates from its opening line: “She said, ‘When I trusted love, I dreamed in color, too.'”   Eight words out of her mouth and she’s a fully realized character, the mirror image of Yoakam’s protagonist, who recognizes a kindred spirit underneath all of that weariness on the surface.

Most of his best songs explored how his relationships had either destroyed him or were in the process of doing so.   This one carries the weight of all of those bad memories and uses them to justify not bothering with love anymore. It’s heavy with resignation but entirely lacking in bitterness, and we’re left rooting for these two to try love again, just one last time, even if it means adding to their long list of heartaches.

Our encouragement is helped along by a rocking production that borrows from the best of rockabilly and the Bakersfield sound without coming off as a dated retread.   All in all, Yoakam sounds more there than he has in a very long time, which is an encouraging sign for those of us left a little cold by 3 Pears in 2012.

Grade: A



  1. I’m so excited for more Dwight music! I was a bit surprised by how influenced this track is by Mellencamp and Springsteen. That paired with the Elvis style vocal performance definitely gives this a rockin’ feel.

    Unfortunately I’m not a huge fan 80s rock fan so this isn’t totally my thing. I would have preferred a little more Bakersfield and a little less Heartland. The production felt a tad loud to me.

    But the lyrics are awesome and this is still a cool track. Can’t wait for the new album.

  2. Good comparison to Mellencamp, Richie. I hear that too.

    At this point, I like or at least highly tolerate just about everything Dwight does. I don’t love this song, but I’m still looking forward to the new album and I liked the previous album, even though I know that a lot of people didn’t.

  3. You can’t go wrong with new Dwight Yoakam music and this single proves it. I really enjoyed “Dwight Sings Buck” from a couple years back and that album really exposed me to Yoakam more than I ever had been prior to that album. Now, I consider myself among the fortunate to have gotten to listen to such great music by a true-blue, country music artist and musician.

  4. I’ve never been a big country or Dwight Yoakam fan – until I heard the title track on SiriusXM and decided I had to buy the full CD. This guy must have felt challenged by the modern and very boring “Who has the deepest voice” country acts. What happened is that a legend comes back and “schools” the modern crop in how it’s done. This is 100% superb songwriting and playing, with an energy and sincerity that the posers can only attempt.

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