The Horses and the Hounds

James McMurtry - The Horses and the Hounds
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2021 Ratings: #227 / 513
User Score
Based on 15 ratings
Liked by 1 person
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McMurtry's latest lifts storytelling-in-song to meticulous new levels.
Slant Magazine

The Horses and the Hounds proves that McMurtry’s nearly peerless ability to tear our hearts out with a good yarn hasn’t waned a bit.


His work is full of the messy energy and surprising turns of a life lived hard, and on The Horses and the Hounds, the music speaks as vividly as his excellent songs. Not many artists pushing 60 get to deliver as satisfying a breakthrough as this one.


On his expertly written 10th album, the Texas storyteller delivers some of his most intense and humane work.


Upon first listen, The Horses and the Hounds is reminiscent of most other McMurtry albums, but as it unfolds, new textures appear and settle into the mix like they’ve always belonged.


It's good. Not quite up to par with the last three indie label releases, but he set the bar high.

'The Horses and the Hounds' takes a step back to more familiar electric guitar territory for McMurtry but this material seems all the wiser for following the mature and reflective 'Complicated Game'. The most impressive thing with this latest release is just how infectious the melodies are and how it revels in the more rocking instrumentation returning - there's joy in these tunes.

There seems to be a 'spring in the step' confidence and self-deprecating humorous tone in evidence on tracks ... read more
We don’t often get albums like this.

And when I say that I’m referring to a specific stripe of singer-songwriters that might as well be goddamn poets in their own right, even if they’ve made a point to say they haven’t touched proper verse in years. The writing is often the centerpiece for better or worse, and given the relative scarcity of releases, it winds up feeling like an event when new material drops. But even the event feels different - these are not acts that ... read more
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Track List

  1. Canola Fields
  2. If It Don’t Bleed
  3. Operation Never Mind
  4. Jackie
  5. Decent Man
  6. Vaquero
  7. The Horses and the Hounds
  8. Ft. Walton Wake - Up Call
  9. What’s the Matter
  10. Blackberry Winter
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Added on: June 17, 2021