By Alanna Nash
Updated July 04, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

For his first self-produced album, Blame the Vain, Dwight Yoakam trots out all his hallmarks — the Buck Owens/Bakersfield beat, the Elvis vocal snarl and sneer, the out-on-the-ledge laments of love gone cold. He’s over-the-top when tacking a Moody Blues-meets-Spamalot opening onto routine country rocker ”She’ll Remember,” and fails to nail the NASCAR-themed ”Intentional Heartache.” But all is forgiven when he gets to ”When I First Came Here,” a down-on-your-knees gospel rendering of romance as redemption.

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