This Time (Dwight Yoakam album)

This Time is the fifth album by American country music artist Dwight Yoakam. Three of its tracks barely missed the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, each peaking at No. 2: "Ain't That Lonely Yet," "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere," and "Fast as You," the latter being his last Top 10 single. Two other tracks also rose into the charts: "Try Not to Look So Pretty" at No. 14 and "Pocket of a Clown" at No. 22. The album itself peaked at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums chart. Yoakam wrote or co-wrote all except for one of the tracks on this album.

This Time
DwightYoakamThisTime.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 23, 1993 (1993-03-23)
GenreCountry, Honky Tonk
Length41:55
LabelReprise
ProducerPete Anderson
Dwight Yoakam chronology
If There Was a Way
(1990)
This Time
(1993)
Dwight Live
(1995)
Singles from This Time
  1. "Ain't That Lonely Yet"
    Released: March 8, 1993
  2. "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere"
    Released: June 21, 1993
  3. "Fast as You"
    Released: October 4, 1993
  4. "Try Not to Look So Pretty"
    Released: February 14, 1994
  5. "Pocket of a Clown"
    Released: June 27, 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars [1]

RecordingEdit

While still rooted in country, This Time sees Yoakam branching out far beyond the honky-tonk sound of his early albums. With production help from Dusty Wakeman, longtime producer and guitarist Pete Anderson was able to add depth and dimension to an already full sound, where the echoes of early rock and soul entwine the honky tonk tempos and instruments and become something wholly other. Anderson later stated the LP was an attempt to fulfill the artistic mission started with the previous album If There Was a Way and create a distinct musical identity:

I wanted to get to a point where we made Dwight Yoakam music. First off, we made country music. We were bound by the constraints of making a good country record…But whatever Johnny Cash was, Johnny Cash made Johnny Cash music. Was it country, was it folk, was it Americana, was it rockabilly? It was Johnny Cash music. And Kenny Rogers, for better or worse, made Kenny Rogers music. I wanted Dwight to be in that stratosphere[2]

Anderson, who used Pro Tools for the album,[3] also admitted putting “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” on the album was the biggest decision of all, since it was so unlike anything Yoakam had recorded before,[4] and the singer himself admitted to Us in 1993, “Oftentimes we’re not doing country music anymore. But that’s okay. Country music is not where I’ll remain, but it’s a place I’ll always return to.”[4] Although This Time was not a number one country album nor produce any chart-topping singles, it was Yoakam’s biggest album, going triple platinum and even made the top twenty-five of the pop charts.

CompositionEdit

Yoakam renewed his songwriting collaboration with Kostas, which started on his previous album, composing four of the LP’s eleven tracks with him. As AllMusic critic Thom Jurek notes, “…in Kostas Yoakam found a writer as interested in textures as in unique ways to use his voice. 'Two Doors Down' is a stunning example, as is the lone cover on the disc, by Kostas and James House, 'Ain't That Lonely Yet,' where Yoakam moves into Roy Orbison territory with strings and lush backdrops that meld Bakersfield with Pitney's conceptual mini-soundtracks and the arrangements on Jim Reeves' best records. “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” is an orchestrated mid-tempo song in which the narrator has just left his lover because of what she has put him through. She tries to win him back with phone calls and notes (left on his door) but the narrator denies his former lover and tries to convince himself that he "ain't that lonely yet," or not lonely enough to return to her. Paul Buckmaster, known for his work with Elton John, provides the string arrangement on the track, which reached #2 on the country singles chart. Yoakam and Kostas also collaborated on the title track, a Buck Owens–inspired groove that Yoakam would introduce in concerts as “psychobilly.”

The songs Yoakam wrote on his own showed continued artistic growth, especially on “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere, which Anderson told the Journal of Country Music was “one of the more experimental songs Dwight has ever written,” and added the song’s long outro was inspired by “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos.[4] It debuted at #72 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of June 26, 1993 and eventually peaked at #2. The song's narrator is dealing with the aftermath of the end of his relationship with his significant other, and the breakup is causing him to feel sad, lonely, and lost. Some of the lyrics in the refrain ("time don't matter to me" and "there's no place I wanna be") also describe his feelings of apathy and disinterest with everything else around him. The music video was directed by Yoakam with the help of Carolyn Mayer (according to some sources) and features Yoakam riding on a Copper Basin Railway train across the Arizona desert, and is shown in two frames showing mostly different views of the train and Yoakam. (Fellow musician Kelly Willis does a cameo appearance as the young woman standing in a shallow stream.) Another hit from Yoakam’s pen was “Fast As You,” which, propelled by its circular “Pretty Woman”-like guitar hook and smoky keyboards, also hit #2 on the country singles chart and landed on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #70 and representing Yoakam's commercial zenith. The remaining originals are rooted in country, with the kitschy “Pocket of a Clown” hearkening back to his earlier cover of Lefty Frizzell’s “Always Late with Your Kisses” with its prominent background singers, and “Lonesome Roads,” which almost verges on a country and western cowboy parody if not for Yoakam’s utterly sincere vocals. Arguably the most impressive performance on the album is “Home for Sale,” which sounds like a sequel to “The Heart That You Own” from his previous LP If There Was a Way, and utilizes the B3 Hammond organ that was introduced on that album.

"A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" was featured as the closing credits music for the film Red Rock West, in which Yoakam also made his film acting debut. "Wild Ride" was later covered by Kenny Chesney as a duet with Joe Walsh on Chesney's 2007 album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.

ReceptionEdit

This Time remains the biggest selling album of Yoakam’s career, going triple platinum. Rolling Stone magazine gave it four stars. AllMusic: “This album is a welcome addition to Yoakam's formidable catalog. This Time is no sell out; it's a new way to present the timelessness of hard, torn, wasted-love country love songs with less reckless sentimentality and more honest emotion.”

Track listingEdit

  1. "Pocket of a Clown" (Dwight Yoakam) – 2:55
  2. "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" (Yoakam) – 4:27
  3. "Home for Sale" (Yoakam) – 3:35
  4. "This Time" (Yoakam, Kostas) – 3:58
  5. "Two Doors Down" (Yoakam, Kostas) – 3:52
  6. "Ain't That Lonely Yet" (Kostas, James House) – 3:20
  7. "King of Fools" (Yoakam, Kostas) – 4:05
  8. "Fast as You" (Yoakam) – 4:45
  9. "Try Not to Look So Pretty" (Yoakam, Kostas) – 2:52
  10. "Wild Ride" (Yoakam) – 4:42
  11. "Lonesome Roads" (Yoakam) – 3:05

PersonnelEdit

Strings conducted and arranged by Paul Buckmaster and contracted by Suzy Katayama.

Chart positionsEdit

AlbumEdit

Chart (1993) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 4
U.S. Billboard 200 25
Canadian RPM Country Albums 1
Canadian Albums Chart 19

SinglesEdit

Year Single Chart positions
US Country US CAN Country
1993 "Ain't That Lonely Yet" 2 101 1
"A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" 2 3
"Fast as You" 2 70 5
1994 "Try Not to Look So Pretty" 14 4
"Pocket of a Clown" 22 4
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ McLeese 2012, p. 126.
  3. ^ McLeese 2012, p. 133.
  4. ^ a b c McLeese 2012, p. 131.
Bibliography
  • McLeese, Don (2012). Dwight Yoakam: A Thousand Miles from Nowhere. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292723818.