This article might look very familiar to you. That’s because back on March 2, I had one called “Gary Allan has a contest and new CD”. I told you about “Get Off On the Pain,” scheduled to release on March 9, 2010. The contest was to win a trip to the PBR national competition in Las Vegas. I didn’t have a copy to review at that point, But Today’s Country did, so I shared their review with you.You can read that here.
Since then, I have received my own review copy of Gary’s new CD. I couldn’t wait to listen to it. I’m a Gary Allan fan. The first thing I remember Gary for is “Smoke Rings in the Dark.” I’m not sure Gary has done anything since that I consider ‘that good.’ But for the most part, I like all of Gary’s music. So I enjoyed listening to the new CD, and it’s going to be fun to review.
You already know “Smoke Rings” is my favorite Gary Allan song, and I don’t see anything changing my mind about that. That thing is just poetic. Love those lyrics, and will never, ever understand why that thing didn’t hit the charts and take off straight to the top! I do have a lot of other favorite Gary songs, too … some are “She’s So California,” “Watching Airplanes,” “Tough Little Boys,” and “Today.” And of course, that’s just some of them.
There are 14 tracks on this Deluxe Edition CD. The first is “Get Off On the Pain,” and it wouldn’t surprise me if this one becomes a single for Gary. It’s a fast song, leaning very much toward being a rock song – but it’s all Gary. That song, and the ones that follow, seem to be telling stories of what happens when you make decisions – that turn out to be less than great decisions. The second track is “I Think I’ve Had Enough.” He didn’t waste any time slowing us down. This is a slow song, and it’s one that makes you want to listen to the lyrics. This one is definitely a Gary Allan song.
The third track is “Today.” There’s nothing I can tell you about this song. It’s Gary’s current single. It’s No. 18 this week on the Top 40 Country Chart, and it’s a great song. The fourth song isn’t one of my favorites on the CD, it’s called “It Ain’t Gonna Fly.” This is a fast song, that just doesn’t sound like anything I would expect to hear out of Gary Allan, and I’m not even sure why I think that. Listen to “Kiss Me When I’m Down,” the No,5 track – That’s Gary Allan! I love this one.
“We Fly By Night” starts out with that same guitar sound that I loved so much at the beginning of “Smoke Rings in the Dark.” But after those first few chords, it is pretty much new, and very much good. “When You Give Yourself Away” starts with the line “When you give yourself away, Love becomes something that you do, not just something that you say.” I’ve that before – well, maybe not those exact words, the the idea. I think it was Cling Black’s song “Something That We Do.” Now forget I said that – because this song is nothing like that song, but it is a good one.
"The album definitely has a theme, and that theme continues with “Along the Way.” Another song about choices and decisions made that weren’t always the right ones. “She Gets Me” starts off with the line “This life I choose it’s always been hard.” The 10th song on the CD is called “No Regrets.” It makes sense – after nine songs about choices he’s made in his life, some not great ones – he ends the CD with “No Regrets.”
But wait! That’s the end of the regular CD, and I have the Deluxe Edition here – which means we have four more of Gary’s songs to listen to and talk about. It doesn’t get much better than this. The last four tracks are “Long Summer Days,” “Right Where I Need to Be”, “Best I Ever Had,” and “Watching Airplanes.” The last three of these were recorded live.
My only complaint about the CD is the jacket. Some graphic designer sitting in his plushy office somewhere obviously likes the work he did on the cover, but I don’t. The front is ok, we have a picture of Gary – you just can’t mess up Gary. But the lettering is ‘broken’ partial letters), and the little designs that resemble “doodling” are really distracting. The back is worse – It is too hard to read the song titles, and again – the ‘doodling’ graphics spill over to the back of the CD. Inside, however, on the little booklet thing with the lyrics to the songs … we’ve got Gary pictures! You gotta love that part.
The title of this post includes the word CONTEST – so here it is! Along with my Review copy of this great Deluxe Edition CD, I received a copy to give away to one of my readers. To enter the contest, all you have to do is fill out the entry form below. One winner will be drawn at random from all entries received. The Deadline to enter is 11 a.m.. Saturday, March 20, 2010.
CONTEST ENDED SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 2010 – CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, DARLA FROM UNION CITY, MICH.
Have a great Sunday!