The wait is almost over for a new set of tunes from Dwight Yoakam. The country superstar, whose last studio album, Blame the Vain, was released in 2005, has scheduled his latest, 3 Pears, for Sept. 18. The singer hints that the 12-track collection shows a tender side he hasn't revealed in more than 25 years.

"Love is something you don't demand -- it shows up on its own terms," the 55-year-old tells Nashville's Tennessean. "So every song on here at some point turns back to the emotion of love, toward someone in a relationship. In the case of me, there are personal touchstones in my life. Things are composites a lot. I don't generally detail my personal life verbatim. There's a certain romance about life in the large sense of what we're all experiencing together that I'm trying to communicate to whoever is listening."

The country music icon credits one of his rock star friends, Beck, with helping shape the entire album by contributing to two of the songs.

"It really acted as a springboard for how I approached the execution of recording the rest of the album," Dwight notes. "We kept it very simple in terms of offense, just myself, a drummer and a bass player -- three of us laying the basic track down. I was doing what might be a scratch electric guitar and ended up in many cases being kept or being overdubbed by me to fully realize the emotional intent in how I was playing."

In addition to working on 3 Pears, which Dwight acknowledges took four years to complete, he has continued to act, appearing in films including Four Christmases and the upcoming TV miniseries To Appomattox.

3 Pears will hit shelves on September 18. Hear a clip from the new album here.