Gary Allan’s new CD, “Set You Free” will be releasing on Jan. 22, 2013. Tonight I got to preview the whole CD, and I liked what I heard. The only song I had heard before tonight was “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain). It’s on the radio, it’s a great song. We all know it, and I think we all love it. It’s the kind of music I’ve grown to expect from Gary Allan.
There were a few disappointments – at least for me. I wasn’t crazy about “Tough Goodbye”, and I didn’t really like “Bones” at all. I first became a Gary Allen fan when he released “Smoke Rings in the Dark.” It doesn’t matter how many songs he releases, or how many albums he puts out during the rest of his career, I’m sure “Smoke Rings” will always be my favorite. I’m not saying “Tough Goodbye” and “Bones” are bad songs. But I didn’t really feel like they were country songs, and they didn’t remind me of the reason I love Gary Allan. I may be the only one who thinks that – but that’s okay.
After I got through “Bones” I got to hear “It Ain’t The Whiskey” – this one I liked. Very prolific. And very Gary Allan. “It ain’t the whiskey, it ain’t the cigarettes that’s killing me, it ain’t the stuff I smoke, it’s all these things I can’t forget. And it ain’t the hard times, it ain’t the all nights, Well it ain’t that easy, it ain’t the whiskey that’s killing me….” Yep, that’s Gary Allan at his best. I think this is probably my favorite song on the new CD. I’ll be interested to know which one all of you like best.
“Sand in My Soul” is a little more up-tempo, but it’s still Gary. You listen to it, and you know know that it’s something he would have recorded. I think this one would do well as a single, too. It’s the one I found myself wanting to sing along with. He slows us back down with the number six song, “You Without Me.” I just want all of you to listen to this one – when I got this far in the CD, I started changing my mind about exactly which song on the new album really is my favorite. And deciding that I’m allowed to have more than one that I like best.
The song “One More Time” is one of those, grab you cup of coffee, gaze out the window, put your feet up…and remember. It’s one of those ‘look back at your whole life…the mistakes you made, things you might have done differently…’ I think this one definitely reminded me what kind of Gary Allan songs I like most – the slow ones. He has an incredible voice. And you can really hear his vocals in these slower songs.
I review a lot of CDs. Some I tell you a little about one or two songs, and then just rate the album over-all. And some, I tell you a little bit about every song – at least what I thought of every song, and why. And Gary has given me one of those challenges. One of those CDs that I just felt like I needed to tell you a little about every song. The ones I like the best, and the ones that didn’t do as much for me. I’m putting “Hungover Heart” right up there with the ones I like the most. It’s another song that if anyone else had sung it, you would be saying “Gary Allan should have had this one.”
Get ready to smile – here comes “No Worries.” That’s all I can say about it. It’s a cute song. “No Worries, I don’t have a single care today. Everything is going to go my way. No worries.” That about sums it up. I think you are all going to like this one as much as I do!
I listened to “Drop” and the first thing I thought of was Harry Connick Jr. I don’t know why, but for some reason I could see that man sitting at the piano singing “Drop.” But I really liked the song. And I thought about some sneaky, cartoon character type detective lurking in the shadows chasing some cartoon criminal. Oh, don’t get me wrong – the lyrics are definitely NOT screaming ‘cartoon character detective”…it was just something about the melody that led me in that direction. But, I really do like the song.
“Pieces” is another faster one. But it’s another really good song. When I finish listening to a song for the first time, and find myself quoting lyrics, I know it was written with people in mind. People who are going to be able to relate to it for one reason or another. I think is probably my favorite of the aster songs on the album.
That brings us to “Good As New”. Gary slows it down for us with this final track. And I discover one thing about Gary Allan. When he sings, you listen. And you pay attention to what he’s saying. I think there are a lot of times when the lyrics just become part of the background noise. That’s not the case with Gary Allen. I’ve listen through the whole album three times. By the third time, I knew the words that were coming next. I knew which songs I liked the best, and I knew which ones would be getting the most use out of my ‘repeat’ button.
Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)
It Ain’t The Whiskey
Sand In My Soul
You Without Me
One More Time
Good As New
I’ll be back later – I have a CD to listen to … again!