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I Am What I Am

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 album from the Country legend. I Am What I Am bristles with all the arresting qualities for which this unrivaled artist is prized. Every song is imbued with the near alchemical power of his dazzling vocal performances, and Haggard's interpretive mastery and unmatched phrasing continues to bring on impressive measures of sensitivity, candor and authority. Never conventional, often confrontational, always outspoken, the 72 year old Haggard remains as aggressively bent on revealing unspoken truths as ever.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I've Seen it Go Away
  2. Pretty When it's New
  3. Oil Tanker Train
  4. Live and Love Always
  5. The Road To My Heart
  6. How Did you Find Me Here'
  7. We're Falling in Love Again
  8. Bad Actor
  9. Down at the End of the Road
  10. A stranger In the City
  11. Mexican Band
  12. I Am What I AM


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard
  • ASIN: B0037EDIG4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,528 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After "The Bluegrass Sessions" in 2007, I had high expectations...and this CD delivers on them in new, exciting, and unexpected ways. Merle is, as always, great. I've been a fan of his music since my father listened to it when I was a kid, and he's only gotten better with age. After the strange, akward funk of the 90's, Haggard seems to have realized the limitations age has imposed on his voice and learned to fully utilize what still works. The results have been a musician growing older with grace and dignity.

"I Am What I Am" is a disc that seems to lean a bit closer to jazz than usual, giving the music a new feel with many unexpected flourishes. It is fantastic. Give it a listen, but put aside any assumptions that you'll be listening to a rehash of his popular tunes of years gone by.

I hope that Merle continues to record many more wonderful CDs for Vanguard Records, as they seem to have given him the freedom to be what he is...
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Format: Audio CD
Bakersfield's own Merle Haggard releases "I Am What I Am", his first album in three years on Vanguard Records. It's a bit of a comeback record of sorts. Unlike most comeback records, this album was written and produced entirely by the man himself with production assistance from Lou Bradley. The album starts off with "I've Seen It Go Away" in which Merle laments over the state of the world. "Stranger In The City" is a ballad about a traveling musician that refuses to stray from his marriage. Further down the album is the rather amusing mariachi influenced "Mexican Bands" in which Merle rattles off the hilarious line "Agave makes me dance on my hands". His wife Theresa who provides background vocals on half of the songs duets with him on the upbeat "Live And Love Always". Merle also makes a couple of jazz influenced songs such as "Pretty When It's New" and "The Road To My Heart". The album ends with the spectacular title track "I Am What I Am". It's a great, but considerably mellow, album from Haggard...as most of the songs are about being madly in love. It's a rather short album- clocking in at under forty minutes, but it's worth repeated listening.
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Format: Audio CD
Neither age nor a run-in with lung cancer has seemed to make a dent in Merle Haggard. I Am What I Am gives fans what they would hope for, and in spades. The opening track, "I've Seen It Go Away" is another song in the long (and damn good) line of Merle Haggard populist tunes, and "I Am What I Am" is another one of Merle's winning odes to honest individualism, warts and all. Listening to this cd, I was stunned by the consistent quality of the work. Thirty years ago, at least three or four of the songs would have been released as singles and hit the Top Twenty.

Much of this cd is in a quiet mode, but Merle sounds invigorated on every track. I'm glad that Merle Haggard is what he is -- one of the finest performers and songwriters in American music history. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Too bad this wasn't released 40 years ago. It would have been a smash hit. As it is it was released in 2010, when country radio has no clue what country music is. All they know is the cookie cutter crap that spews out of Nashvegas.
Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesny, etc. none of them are worthy of holding Merle Haggard's hat, but their soulless crap will outsell Merle's honest and heartfelt music.
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Format: Audio CD
Unbelievable. Merle and The Strangers hit one out of the park... again. I don't know how, but this country legend just seems to improve with age. The timbre of that beautiful baritone voice, and the musicians that he chooses to surround himself with... WOW! You won't regret this one.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just saw this weeks' "Americana" chart, and the Hag is #1! 73 years old, starting his 6th decade recording. I feel that this is Merle's best album (yes, album. I have it on vinyl!) since "If I could only fly", and it is somewhat similar to that record in the overall vibe. 11 songs written (or co-written) by Hag, one cover ("Live and love always" a duet with his wife Theresa - I've heard versions by the Maddox Bros. and Rose and also Hank and Audrey Williams). There's not a bad cut on the album (I don't particularly care for "Bad actor", although it is well written and performed, it just doesn't sound like a Merle song to me. However, it's my daughter's favorite, so go figure!). My favorites are "How did you find me here", "I am what I am", "Live and love always", "Oil tanker train", and "Pretty when it's new". "We're falling in love again" would be a great song for a cover version (George Strait, Johnny Bush?) and I'm willing to bet that "Pretty when it's new" will be covered also. "Mexican bands" is a blast, and "I've seen it go away" sums up Hag's current worldview perfectly. "Down at the end of the road" is a sad song about preparing for your kids to grow up and leave. Leave it to Hag to do an anti-cheating honky tonk song ("Stranger in the city"). The playing is tasteful and live-sounding (as has been the case with many of Merle's recent recordings) and the "guest musicians" are a great compliment to the Strangers. I think when it's all said and done, this will be rated as one of Merle's great records, a late career classic. I also believe that eventually Merle will get the widespread recognition he deserves as the greatest Country Music artist ever. Or, as Kris Kristofferson recently stated "The greatest artist in the history of American music". Thanks again, Hag (and thanks to Vanguard for the great job they've done also).
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