Tracy Lawrence - The Rock
Album Review by Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist
whatever reason, there is considerable speculation as to why Tracy
Lawrence recorded this particular album at this point in his career
and why he chose the songs he chose. My response to all those
curious minds who want to know is; who cares? The album is a pure
delight from start to finish.
are also speculating that this album is an attempt to "cross over to
the Christian market." Again, my only response is the same, "who
cares?" Hello! Just hearing Lawrence sing is a religious experience;
where have all you doubters and nay sayers been all these years?
Obviously, you've never heard him sing before and despite the fact
that this album may be listed predominately as "Christian" or
"Gospel," and fits comfortably in both of those categories, it
shouldn't be excluded from other categories or genres.
Rock is such an easy listen from start to finish. It's
uplifting, enjoyable, encouraging, soothing, relatable... come on
now, aren't these keywords for all good "country" music? When was
the last time you didn't want to listen to inspiring lyrics
delivered as smoothly as a shot of great Tennessee whiskey? And did
I mention the excellent musicians on these tracks and the wonderful
musical harmonies that support Lawrence on several cuts. I guess I'm
being a bit redundant but I just don't want folks to pass on this
album because they think they are going to get preached to. This
album isn't like that at all, well, however, on the other hand, it
may invoke a religious experience.
title cut is about the history of a small church "outside Savannah"
but Lawrence could be singing about any house of worship anywhere
and I immediately thought that "The Rock" was a metaphor for where
Jesus was actually crucified. Alright now, don't panic. I'm not
going to get all preachy and religious; let's move on.
admit that "Jesus, Come Talk to Your Children," is pure gospel but
it is gospel with great guitar riffs. Honest. It will definitely get
your inner soul rocking and perhaps your outer soul as well.
really enjoyed "The Book You Never Read" with its inspiring lyrics,
strong instrumentals and motivating message. It may be my favorite
track but I'm not sure 'cause there isn't a bad cut on the album so
it is truly difficult to choose a favorite.
Where Heaven Is" is a song that everyone can relate to and, once
again, there is some really wonderful steel guitar playing to get
you moving. Same can be said of "I'm Done" only on this track, it is
the banjo that will keep you tapping your foot.
final cut, "Say a Prayer" is a melodic cut and its message is
absolutely, splendidly delivered. It is an appropriate ending to
this wonderful musical montage and the instrumentals are as soothing
as Lawrence's amazing vocals.
listening to the entire album, several times, I can honestly say
that I totally enjoyed every single song and I never once felt
preached to. However, for all of you out there who will still claim
this is a gospel album, let me yell out an enthusiastic
"hallelujah!" and for the others who will still pigeon-hole this as
a Christina album, well, then I have only one final thing to say,
"Amen." Having said that, I'm confident that any cut from this album
would be at home in any genre of music and I think it is one of the
best album's Lawrence has ever done and, believe me, I love them
album is a reminder of why Lawrence has been the recipient of so
many accolades throughout the course of his career. For those of you
who have forgotten, or never knew at all, his very first album in
1991 produced three consecutive number one hits and, effortlessly,
went platinum. His second album produced four more number one hits
and also went platinum. He has managed more than a dozen chart
toppers since then and, given half a chance, there may be a few on
this new project. It's a keeper. I swear to God. (Sorry, I couldn't