McGraw drives to freedom

On February 10, 2013

The misconception that country music is simply a bunch of beer-drinking, truck-riding and fried-chicken-eating hillbillies has been revamped.

Country music veteran Tim McGraw has earned his title as a respected entity within the genre and his latest album Two Lanes of Freedom manifests why.

After nearly two successful decades with Curb Records, Tim McGraw left the label and signed with Big Machine Records for the release of his latest album Two Lanes of Freedom on Feb. 5.

Two Lanes of Freedomwill bring listeners good ol' country comfort and powerful lyrics that really tug at the heartstrings. Those looking for a sappy love song or something to get the party started, Two Lanes of Freedom will not disappoint.

McGraw's first single "Truck Yeah," is your typical tailgate song. It starts off with that hillbilly attitude and leads into a rockin' chorus full of 'truck yeahs!' When listeners hear this one, they'll be reaching for the nearest Bud Light.

"If you like it up loud and you're hillbilly proud, then you know what I'm talking about," McGraw sings.

Another entertaining track on the album is "Southern Girl." It's an up-tempo song that illustrates how a southern girl in cut-off jeans can make men go crazy. McGraw sings that city girls are nice and sweet, but to him, nothing compares to a southern gal.

"But the fireflies play where the cattails grow and them southern girls talk nice and slow," McGraw sings.

Perhaps one of the more heart-wrenching tracks on the album is "Friend of a Friend." This song visits the heartbreak of missing a loved one and the inability to communicate with that person anymore. Although "Friend of a Friend" is a slightly clichéd, sappy, sob song, it's quite relatable. Country music has a good way of conveying emotions with the simplest of lyrics.

If you compare the Louisiana native's first album, Tim McGraw, released in 1993, to his newest album Two Lanes of Freedom, it is clear he has grown musically. His first album had a very twang-y, classic bluegrass sound to it, whereas this album has a more modern country feel. The maturity in his lyrics definitely helps to separate himself from other country artists.

Tim McGraw has collaborated with many artists from all different genres of music throughout his enduring career, but this time around, he's keeping it within the country music family.

"Highway Don't Care" is a song on his new album featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. This song may serve as a remedy for heartache. It puts things in perspective and helps us understand that running from unfortunate circumstances won't solve our problems - or as McGraw sings, "the highway won't dry your tears." Taylor Swift's song writing alongside Keith Urban's guitar playing pleasantly contributes a lot to this song.

Tim McGraw's distinct sound is taking country music to another level this year. With 20-years-plus experience, the three-time Grammy winner has managed to incorporate heartbreak, humor and entertainment into his songs. Although he's starting fresh at a brand new label, his style will undoubtedly continue to rock the country music world.

If you haven't already jumped aboard Tim McGraw's infinite success train, don't hesitate. You won't regret it.



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