Friday, Feb. 15, 2013
Gary Allan w/ Lindsay Ell
Despite his stoic exterior, there’s always been an element of pain and torment under Gary Allan’s rough-edged, neo-traditionalist country. He recorded one of his early albums, 1999’s Smoke Rings in the Dark, in the wake of a difficult divorce, and one of his most successful albums, 2005’s Tough All Over, following the suicide of his wife. Emotional scars like that didn’t heal easily, and they’ve carried through his subsequent albums—especially 2010’s anguished Get Off on the Pain. It’s a bit of a relief, then, that Allan periodically escapes his head on his new record, Set You Free, an album that’s more interested in healing than dwelling on pain. The album’s lead single “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” illustrates Allan’s newfound determination to put a brighter spin on bad situations.