What could possibly make a Friday better? Well, the official release of Tim McGraw‘s 14th studio album, Damn Country Music of course. Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, Big Machine Records released the highly anticipated album this week. The record was produced by McGraw and trusted collaborator Byron Gallimore, and proves to be yet another album chock full of hits.
Tim shares the opening number with his first-born daughter, Gracie, in an upbeat country tune with a Celtic vibe of a tin whistle in the background; outstanding. Gracie’s sultry undertones match her father’s voice perfectly, and the tiny glimpse into their relationship at the end is super endearing. He also kicks up some dust with friends and co-collaborators Big & Rich on what’s sure to be a hit for them, “California”.
To McGraw, the album’s title track is reflective of the entire record’s tone and his musical journey thus far. “When I recorded Damn Country Music, it was one of those electric moments. It speaks to a passion and being at a crossroads in your life when you make that decision to pursue it knowing you might pay a heavy price,” says McGraw.
Damn Country Music’s lead single, “Top Of The World,” has been rocketing up the country radio charts since its out-of-this-world debut in August. The song’s widely-viewed lyric video features an intimate look into McGraw’s life as he surveys various personal photos and memories.
The release of Damn Country Music will cap off an exceptional year for McGraw, which began with a critically acclaimed & trending performance of “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me at the 87th Academy Awards on February 22. In April, McGraw was included on TIME 100 – Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people – and narrated the ESPN Films & SEC Network documentary Shaq & Dale, which detailed the enduring relationship between basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal and his former Louisiana State University coach Dale Brown.
Continuing to bolster his film career, McGraw starred in Disney’s Tomorrowland in May before kicking off his wildly successful Shotgun Rider tour in June. The tour thrilled thousands of fans and awarded mortgage-free homes to veterans through McGraw’s partnership with Operation Homefront & Chase in more than 30 cities throughout the summer. The tour concluded on September 19 in Irvine, CA to a sold out crowd.
Not sure how he fit in recording an album of this caliber, but we are sure glad he did.
Damn Country Music Standard Tracklisting:
• Here Tonight (ft. Gracie McGraw) – Perfect opening song featuring his first-born daughter Gracie. His smooth country sound blends perfectly with her warm bold undertones and gives a depth to the song.
• Losin’ You – This is an amazingly well written song. Through words, Tim paints the backdrop and tells a story of lost love. This is a great country song.
• How I’ll Always Be – This snappy upbeat diddy describes the simple pleasures in life of a man who knows who he is and what he finds important. ” I’ll always be a fan of old stray dogs and guitars playin’; One room churches, back road walks, and front porch swingin’; Sunset skies and bonfire nights, I love the simple things; That’s how I’ll always be”. Think that says it all. I absolutely loved the percussion and the great guitar riff within this number.
• Damn Country Music – Tim sings of the passion surrounding the life a musician. The constant dedication it takes is all rolled into a ballad of the love affair he has with country music and the ups and downs in the career as such. This is a perfect reflection of the cannon ball jump musicians make to follow their dreams.
• Love Runs – Love walks you to….and the lyrics within bring definition of what is the essence of a relationship. But it’s the love runs through your veins that is so strong and confirms the love you know, will be a forever love. Loved it. Number one hit for sure.
• What You’re Lookin’ For – This ballad tells of an admission and realization. This mellow tune is an acknowledgement of a love that just isn’t right. We have all been there, and Tim’s ability to deliver a sad song of love, just makes you weak in your knees.
• Top Of The World – The first release on the album came this past August and didn’t take but a minute to climb its way into the charts and our hearts. Would say that Tim McGraw definitely sits on Top of the World.
• Don’t Make Me Feel At Home – This number has a very old-fashioned country flavor of the George Jones era. Loved it. A must listen track.
• Want You Back – WOW! All I can say is, you can have me back. Definite hit. (drops mic)
• California (with Big & Rich) – This collaboration with Big & Rich rocks your country boots off. It’s one of those songs you hear, and you immediately pull your beau out to the dance floor. Fun and upbeat. Loved it.
• Humble and Kind – My hands down favorite on the album. It’s a conversation; one that brings me back to so many I’ve had throughout the years with my momma, my grandma, and my pop pop as they teach me how to be the best person I can be in life. Truly a number that everyone will relate to and love as well. So beautiful. The arrangement on this number must get a shout out as well as it is spectacular. Can’t wait to see this one live!
For those that purchase the Deluxe Edition, you will be treated to the following extra tracks as well.
Damn Country Music Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Edition):
• Everybody’s Lookin’
• Kiss A Girl
• Country And Western
This album has a great energy to it. It is a perfect mix of both upbeat and ballad; every song is a hit; and every song has substance. With some of the most talented writers in the business working with Tim, their words are made into stories and Tim delivers them magically and perfectly. A lot of scuttlebutt has been made in the industry claiming that commercialism has taken over and strayed country music from its roots. This album reflects a bit of those roots within, and gives the listener a taste of what country music is all about; the stories of life, love, and loss. I predict that this album will one of Tim’s biggest selling albums. I give it a definite two thumbs up. I believe it’s substance was a compilation of all that Tim’s endured over the years on the road and in the business. Tim’s was able to deliver an honest and heartwarming album, while standing tall and true is a direct reflection to his character and talent. A must purchase. I know I will.
Key Tracks: Want You Back, Humble and Kind, California