Dwight Yoakam effectively went into hibernation after the release Blame the Vain in 2005. He spent some time acting and playing shows, releasing an excellent Buck Owens tribute in 2007, but he shied away from original material for a full seven years, and when he re-emerged in 2012 with 3 Pears, it was to return to the Warner group after spending the 2000s as an independent artist. Oddly enough, 3 Pears feels more indie than anything he's cut in the new millennium, and not just because he's enlisted alt-rocker Beck as a producer for a pair of tracks.
A cascading bass line that evokes the work of Motown’s James Jamerson, all fat, swollen and narcotically melodic, opens 3 Pears, Dwight Yoakam’s return to a major label. Coyly credited to co-writer Robert Ritchie—better known as Kid Rock—“Take Hold of My Hand” sets a bar that is long on raw desire, overt pain and a kind of macho bravado that’s been the post-California cow-punk avatar’s highest ground. This overt immersion in musk, want and sexual salvation both sought and offered reaches beyond simple carnal release.
One night. That’s all Dwight Yoakam asks for on 3 Pears opener “Take Hold of My Hand”. “I’ve lusted for love, but lust is so blind,” he admits during the refrain. Yoakam’s nasally croon has gotten raspier with age, but he remains a bastion of coolness in a country music industry plagued by Taylor Swifts and Toby Keiths.
PINK “The Truth About Love” (RCA) Big, blatant, halogen-bright pop songs are Pink’s chosen calling. No matter how her tracks begin — with a whisper or a blast — the choruses await arena shout-alongs. But the words she puts in those neat pop packages can be unruly and conflicted. Pink (Alecia Moore) is committed to pop impact, not to any particular style.