Just when I start to worry that country music has been completely stripped of all authenticity Gary Allan comes to the rescue and releases a new album. During this time in which hooky overused melodies are continually covering up generic lyrics, it is always refreshing to hear an artist that sings real songs with real emotion. Allan’s songs are always relatable and identifiable, and he sings his tunes in a way that is indisputably believable.
The California native’s new album entitled, “Set You Free,” which just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and the cross-genre billboard 200 chart has the song selection to quite literally set you free.
He has his usual heart-wrenching tunes accompanied by his hardcore songs, which as always, makes for a well-rounded album.
As transparent as ever, Allan’s honesty is already coming out in track 1. When I picked up his new CD and the first tune I read was “Tough Goodbye,” I found myself thinking, “THIS is why I love Gary Allan” and threw it into my cart without hesitation. The words “Tough” and “Gary Allan” just seem to go together interchangeably. This track sets the path for the tone of “Set You Free,” because it is the “on-the-go, saying good-bye drifter” that we know. He knows heartbreak all too well, but it doesn’t mean he is about to settle down. He hates to see her cry, but he isn’t staying.
“Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain,” his amazing current single is really almost self-explanatory. This song is the “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” of the new album. Once again, he reminds his listeners to stay strong, and to keep hanging on. I would say it’s the most powerful song of his career, but then I’m reminded of countless others that are also so deserving of that award.
“Bones” is definitely the cruise with the windows down song this time. This upbeat, edgy, raspy tune showcases just how much Allan can always push the limits. Likely, this song will be a release in the near future.
By the time we get to “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” the theme is back to “pain.” This tune is another song of truth and brokenness that will touch the hearts of listeners. “Sand In My Soul” continues the pattern, and then makes its way to “You Without Me,” which is a killer song about seeing your ex with someone new.
“One More Time” is a song of good intentions, and wanting to make sure you get it right in this life.
"Hungover Heart” is a great play on words, and pays respect to traditional country music.
However, Allan quickly shifts gears with the quirky “No Worries,” which sets the tone for an uplifting rest of the album. “Drop” is just the choice to follow the light-hearted tune, as a new love is now in the picture to calm the nerves. “Pieces” is a song of acknowledging mistakes, and finding positive from the negative. It is a song of accepting where you’ve been, and realizing those pieces all work together to make you who you are. “Good As New” wraps up the album of variety reminding listeners that though life is full of struggle and challenge, we can learn from it, grow from it, and end up as good as new.
“Set You Free” provides contrast, Allan’s signature sound, everything we would expect from him, and something a little extra. In conclusion, the consistent Gary Allan has done it yet again..