Gary Allan's "Living Hard"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not too often in the past would I post reviews, however, this one here is one I believe that needs to be posted here as well as on in their usual place on my website.....

Gary Allan’s newest release “Living Hard” is yet another example of what country music is all about, real life experiences. His previous album was dark and extremely personal after the death of his wife, there is no way to write about Allan’s music now without mention and comparison to that previous released masterpiece. This new album has lyrical continuation of expression, yet the music itself is much more uplifting sound. You can hear Allan’s emotional state; a sense of healing and moving on, with happier days, yet never forgetting.

Allan has long before now established himself as a highly talented artist and a targeted sound, and the current album stays right inline with what we have loved from Allan in the past. There isn’t any doubt listening to the first track, or the last, who you are hearing. That is a positive talent, no doubt.

“Living Hard” begins with “Watching Airplanes,” a lyrical strong (written by Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton) that is a girl-leaving song as he the character watches airplanes take off, wondering which she is on. A great song for everyone, yet it has another meaning to Allan I’m sure. This is a great example of what to expect on “Living Hard,” and this theme is common throughout.

“Living Hard” and “Wrecking Ball” shows a more rowdier side of Allan’s music, loud guitars and almost screaming sounds make these a bit of a miss on the album. Radney Foster’s “Half of My Mistakes” is safely covered on the album very nicely as well.

“Yesterday’s Rain” is a highlight of the album. One of the 6 songs Allan co-wrote, the track showcases Allan’s signature vocal presentation, a sound that perfectly fits, and most of all it really has an a feel of emotional outlet for Allan. Reading the lyrics makes you want to read them again. Hearing the song makes you want to listen again and embrace the emotions. Powerfully, even though we know what he is singing about, we all still can match this expression of feelings to our own lives.

Overall, Allan has yet again brought his fans an highly accomplished album that gives us all a real intense journey into his inner thought and musical expression through country music’s power of lyrical delivery and sharing stories and thought on life’s ups and downs.

Grade: A