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Gary Allan "Living Hard" MCA Nashville

by LK

Allan’s aptly named album takes listeners along for a ride on the rugged journeys of his California misadventures. Though his traditional, rustic sound won’t appeal to everyone, the raw nature of his voice coincides perfectly with the rough and uninhibited lyrical stories on the album. The single “Watching Airplanes” will likely garner most of the attention for Allan due to its “poppier” appeal, though “Learning How to Bend”, a narrative of the struggle between pride and self and sacrifice is both thought provoking and well-performed. The introspective “Half of My Mistakes” is a clever way of saying “I’m not perfect, but I’m trying”, an easily identifiable message. Though singles such as “Watching Airplanes” and “Learning How to Bend” are pretty ballads, the balance of the album has a largely masculine feel and approach. Lyrics, tone and style all point to a don’t-mess-with-me cowboy, which may lose some of the female listeners. Though it is not particularly striking or memorable, it’s quality work, and unique, and will appeal within a certain niche of listeners. Overall, it’s a good, solid album to put on after a long day with which to enjoy a beer.

Living Hard

Living Hard

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