Merle Haggard

5:01 Blues

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5:01 Blues was the last album Haggard released on Epic and it's fairly clear things are beginning to wrap up between the singer and the label. He's not being teamed with a big producer as he was at first; he's on his own, working with Mark Yeary and Ken Suesov, just relaxing through a set of laid-back ballads and blues. Perhaps the settings are a shade too clean and slick for Hag's warm croon, but it's an amiable, enjoyable set, highlighted by Richie McDonald's "Losin' in Las Vegas," the title track and the singles "A Better Love Next Time," and "If You Want to Be My Woman."

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