Preview: I Am What I Am by Merle Haggard

I Am What I AmArtist: Merle Haggard
Title: I Am What I Am
Release Date: April 20, 2010
Label: Vanguard
Format(s): CD

An April 20 release date has been announced for Merle Haggard's first album on Vanguard Records, I Am What I Am.  The album is produced by Haggard and Lou Bradley and, as usual, includes backing by the Strangers.
I Am What I Am is a typically far-reaching set, but remains centered around a series of contemplations on love, in all of its intoxicating and vexing forms. Examining romance with a poet’s beatific vulnerability, Merle travels from the ardent bloom of romance to the intricate ensemble of family life to the burnt out confusion of fading passion, yet always returns to love’s eternally redemptive power. On tracks like Pretty When It’s New, a study of new love’s marvelous voltage, and How Did You Find Me Here which convincingly takes him from morbid depression to elated joy, Merle sounds almost reborn, intensely involved and consumed with a sheer sense of wonder that’s enhanced further by those characteristically masterful vocals.

Elsewhere, Merle lets loose on a duet with his wife Theresa on the rollicking Live And Love Always, revisits his childhood on Oil Tanker Train, and finds the contentment of home sweet home on Down At The End Of The Road. Merle's often closely guarded innocence is completely exposed, showing a tenderness that, considering the counterpoint of his battle-scarred, hardened exterior, creates a remarkably resonant experience.

Track List:
  • I’ve Seen It Go Away
  • Pretty When It’s New
  • Oil Tanker Train
  • Live And Love Always
  • The Road To My Heart
  • How Did You Find Me Here
  • We’re Falling In Love Again
  • Bad Actor
  • Down At The End Of The Road
  • Stranger In The City
  • Mexican Bands
  • I Am What I Am

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