George Strait, "Twang"
George Strait put out his first album, "Strait Country," in 1981. After 28 years, you'd think it would be tough coming up with new twists to captivate audiences. But apparently not for King George, whose latest album, "Twang," is among the finest collections of songs he's released. Recorded at Jimmy Buffett's Shrimp Boat Studios in Key West, Fla., the new set has a few surprises, including a track recorded entirely in Spanish. Vicente Fernández's mariachi hit "El Rey" includes horns, which is a first on a Strait record for co-producer Tony Brown, who has worked with the country artist since 1992. Other rare moments on "Twang" include three songs co-written by Strait, who hasn't released a song he's penned since his debut. The first single, "Living for the Night," was co-written by Strait; his son, Bubba; and longtime contributor Dean Dillon. Strait and his son also collaborated on "Out of Sight Out of Mind." The song "Arkansas Dave"-written solely by Bubba-has a "Tennessee Flat Top Box" groove that would make Johnny Cash proud. -Ken Tucker