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(Yahoo!) - George Strait may have set the country music world reeling last September when he announced he'd be retiring from the road. However, he did assure fans that he was by no means retiring from the recording studio--and he's made good on that promise with his new album, Love Is Everything.

Although this marks his 40th (!) studio full-length, Strait insists that he's still out to create the very best album of his life every time he steps into the studio.

"I love recording, it's fun. It's fun to create new music," he explains. "Even if it's a song you didn't write, it's fun to go in and see what you can do with it. How pretty you can make it or how different you can make it."

Here's Strait further discussing his new music, his increased focus on songwriting, and his "bittersweet" final tour--on which he says he's "soaking up" every minute.

Strait has released the album just in time for his 61st birthday, which falls on Saturday. Have a listen to the new tunes and be sure to leave a birthday greeting for him here!


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