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Dwight Yoakam

Blame the Vain – 2005 (New West)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Dwight Yoakam

To a lot of Dwight Yoakam fans, the names "Roswell" and "Sling Blade" are anathema. Because there is the perception that since Yoakam's success in Hollywood, he's been more interested in movies than music. And there is some corroborating evidence - after all, he's done plenty of acting and directing lately, but we haven't heard an all-new song on the radio from Dwight for a long time.

But the truth is Yoakam has never neglected music. It's just that radio no longer bends enough to accommodate the always-eclectic (sometimes too retro, sometimes too progressive) Mr. Yoakam. And there's probably not anything on his 18th album to make them alter that policy. "Watch Out" has one of the most jarring changes in tempo ever. Then there's that bizarro ending to the hilarious "Intentional Heartache" where Yoakam takes on the roles of the wronged woman destroying all her man's possessions, as well as the guy and some bystanders.

But if you let those scare you off, you'll miss out on the great Buck Owensesque "I Wanna Love Again," and the rockabilly rave "Three Good Reasons" as well as the irresistible riff and lyrical complexity of the title track, easily as good as anything on Yoakam's classic "This Time" CD. And you'll have no one to blame but yourself.