Country Therapy

Living Hard
Gary Allan

By Rob Greenwell

What can you say about Gary Allan over the last couple of years? A man who literally has gone through hell, cursed the devil and come through on the other side. This isn't the place to recount his troubled times, only to say that if you believe in a higher power, you hope that he smiles down on Allan in the coming years.

Allan's last album was in a very dark place, no doubt a very familiar area where Allan was as he dealt with the issues he was facing. This project does shine a little more brightly, but this was clearly a therapeutic process. There are several songs that were written about his former wife, like the very beautiful, "Yesterday's Rain." There are a few reminders though of Allan's old rockin' California cowboy way, in "Like It's A Bad Thing" and the title track, a tune about a singer's life on the road.

The absolute best song that Allan has recorded in several years is the very first cut on the CD, "Watching Airplanes," a love-gone-wrong song fits his vocal ability to a tee. I really won't understand the logic if this thing doesn't at least go top ten, however it should go No. 1.

In conclusion, the Living Hard album is a therapeutic journey that is the next step in Allan's road to recovery. There is some tear-jerkin', some hell-raisin' and some reflection. Hell, wait a minute isn't that was country music is all about anyway?

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