12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Cutting Edge Contemporary Country,
This review is from: Emotional Traffic (Audio CD)
Tim McGraw stands at the cutting edge of contemporary country pushing at the boundary between country and rock music in a way that probably offends many country "purists". This is not hat music and the opening track "Halo" has spiralling rock guitars which emphasise how McGraw blurs distinctions.
But then, with "Right Back At You" and "One Part Two Part" (with wife, Faith Hill, providing backing vocals), he's back in firm country territory with steel guitar and Nashville sound albeit with "edge".
The album title is derived from a line in the compelling mid tempo ballad "Only Human" which Tim performs with rhythm and blues star Ne Yo and ringing acoustic and electric guitars further underline his boundary bursting commitment.
Perhaps the clue to McGraw's superstar status is his ability to bend genres while remaining firmly within the country arena. "Felt Good On My Lips" is reminiscent of Jimmy Buffet's laid back beach party style while "Die By My Own Hand" is pure Daniel Lanois. Electric guitars, drums and pedal steel create a shimmering, swirling, echoing wall of sound but doesn't threaten to overwhelm McGraw's dramatic delivery. Meanwhile, "Touchdown Jesus" is tinged with the sound of Lindsey Buckingham's Fleetwood Mac era.
Nevertheless, the album is nicely balanced and there are some solid country ballads like "Better Than I Used To Be" and "One That Got Away" that have a more traditional sound.
There are 62 names credited on this album so this is a big production in every way. It features contributions from exponents of a variety of styles including crossover jazz, pop-rock, middle eastern music, classical and gospel which combine to form a complexity of sound but in a way that leaves the album undeniably country in feel and intent.
This is compelling 21st Century contemporary country music but it doesn't pretend to be easy listening. It's music for the demanding adult listener and a sophisticated rebuttal of the saccharine sounds that often pass for country music.
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Initial post: 27 Jan 2012, 21:37:32 GMT
Red on Black says:
One to seek out - Many thanks
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