It's raw and emotional. It's freight-train-to-nowhere lonely. It's hard-rockin', no-apologies country music that has traded in its twang for a gravelly growl millions of fans recognize as the voice of Gary Allan. And wi... more »th LIVING HARD, his latest release from MCA Nashville, Allan once again proves that, though times may change, the thread of truth at the center of his music remains the same. Features the new single "Watching Airplanes".« less
It's raw and emotional. It's freight-train-to-nowhere lonely. It's hard-rockin', no-apologies country music that has traded in its twang for a gravelly growl millions of fans recognize as the voice of Gary Allan. And with LIVING HARD, his latest release from MCA Nashville, Allan once again proves that, though times may change, the thread of truth at the center of his music remains the same. Features the new single "Watching Airplanes".
Donna P. from RISING SUN, MD Reviewed on 10/28/2010...
Great Gary Allan CD.
A Departure in Style
A* | New York, N.Y. United States | 10/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Gary Allan's voice. It's what country music is to me at it's best, full of emotion, gravel, weight and a sweetness just behind those bent notes. He doesn't let you down and always pushes what he has and that is a glorious voice and a great interpertation of songs.
This disc is VERY different from his last, where the last one was dark and dealt with personal troubles that went beyond the disc and pulled you further in as a listener, here Allan seems to be in a more contemplative state and more optimistic. Does it hurt the album? No, But its a different tone from everything he has ever done. The contemplative first single, "Watching Airplanes," with its pretty hook and high notes shows that his voice has gotten stronger and that's something I wasn't expecting -- but love. "Half of My Mistakes," shows off his new tricks to great ability. The lyrics are still Jim Beam deep, but these songs build up more towards their endings, like runaway trains.
Gary Allan is one of those singers who doesn't deserve to be under the radar. He should be mainstream, he should be getting awards, but he's quiet and gets it all done through concerts and the interaction he has with his fans, I have gone to see this man in concert more than a few times, and he never puts on a cruddy show. In a perfect world, a song like "Learning How to Bend," with lyrics like: "I'm just trying to understand/it's all in someone else's hands," and the killer howl he drops down at the center of the harmony would be a staple on radio.
The album is worth the price, Allan is in top form, and he's still putting out material that is leagues above what most country artists put out during their entire career these days."
A fun-loving, free-living record
DanD | 10/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Allan's last all-new studio effort, TOUGH ALL OVER, was a mournful record, written and recorded shortly after his wife's suicide. A GREATEST HITS followed, providing a good transitional buffer (most of Allan's hits have been mournful songs, after all). LIVING HARD is a return to the Gary Allan that we were introduced to, with a more rockin' edge that suits his voice and style perfectly.
LIVING HARD gives Allan a chance to cut loose. Sure, there are some more thoughtful numbers, such as the first single "Watching Airplanes," or the inflectional "Half of My Mistakes." But the true heart of the album lies in forgetting the sorrows, or at least whistling by them; Allan rocks it out on the title track, "Like It's a Bad Thing," and "Wrecking Ball," the latter one of the hardest-hitting rhythms in Allan's catalog. "She's So California" gets so caught up in describing a woman, it ignores the fact that "She's so cool, breakin' all the rules/Risin' star, she'll break your heart". "We Touched the Sun" details the relationship of a couple meant to be together, "Even if it's not forever...even if it's only for a little while."
Over all, the album is an anticipated departure from Allan's melancholy. Don't get me wrong--TOUGH ALL OVER is easily Allan's best record. But it's nice to have him rockin' out again, no cares or worries. He also co-wrote six tracks; thank God he's started writing more. Gary Allan is one of the best country musicians in the business--a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist (go to one of his shows...oh, man!). LIVING HARD isn't as good as its predecessor, but them I'm not sure any record could be. In a musical realm where radio embraces mediocrity, Allan stands out among his peers. As he himself sings: "I don't know about you, but I was put here to live and love/So what if i don't it like everybody else does.""
Keeps Getting Better
BobbieJo | Leander, TX, United States | 10/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you loved Gary's 2005 release "Tough All Over" you will love the follow up "Living Hard". It is just as honest and true to life. It little harder and edger than most country albums but it's what Gary's good at. To quote a song from this album "So what if I don't do it like everybody else does" ("Like it's a Bad Thing") You can tell that he is still healing from his personal tragedy (as is expected) through his song writing , which shine through on this album. The title track "Living Hard" is an outstanding portray of living out on the road. However if you are looking for a love song like Gary's #1 "The One" you won't find it here, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the songs about lost loves. Tracks to check out #2 "We Touched the Sun", #4 "Like It's a Bad Thing", #7 "Wrecking Ball", #8 Yesterday's Rain & #11 the title track "Living Hard". (Really the whole album) I promise you won't be disappointed."
Poetic, raw & real, no excuses ... love it!
Bernadette A. Moyer | Lutherville, MD USA | 02/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Purchased this and his Greatest Hits looking forward to Get Off On The Pain. Recently saw him live in Atlantic City. His music is soul-filled and raw with a rockers edge. It is poetic and speaks to me. Seldom do I like more than 1 or 2 songs on a record but I just love the entire CD, and all his music. He doesn't come across as ruined by the industry but rather aware and in the moment. So much great art is born of pain, sounds like he had his share. I am anxious to receive the new CD since he was more involved in the writing. His voice is an instrument, and there is much poetry to his music."
Gary Allan best voice in Country-Highly Underated
William Moore | Cherry Hill, NJ USA | 08/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Allan is the best voice in all of Country Music and a vast range. Gary has complete control of his voice and his phrasing is marvelous.
I do not think that he has ever gotten the full recognition that he should have. He will get to about a #9 on the Country hit parade and hold that level for about a month and then disappear overnite. This is a different release from those of his past. No one song has a strong identity. I wanted to like this as much as all of his CD's but I could not (And I have them all). I think that he many times releases a CD of songs that he likes and likes to sing but doesn't always totally include a hook that might make it more commercially viable. I believe that he stays TRUE to his music and how can you fault him for that when its all said and done. I am sorry Gary.. I just can't get into it like I always do."