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Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying 
Curb Records
Album Review by Cheryl Harvey Hill 

According to his most recent press release, "Live Like You Were Dying," the title track of Tim McGraw's new album, has become the fastest rising chart single of his career. No surprise here. Not to downplay his vocal talents but McGraw could probably get on the charts just on his sex appeal alone ... everything else is just icing on the cake. Having said that, if this album were a cake, you will want to have more than one piece and this one is a gourmet treat.

Staying true to himself and to his remarkable band the Dancehall Doctors, McGraw returned to the same recording studio in upstate New York where he recorded his previous album. "We'd play until 5 in the morning. It was like being 16 and putting a garage band together and playing in your garage all night, except we had great equipment and great players" he says, and it shows. The end result is sixteen views of life and love set to satisfying, gratifying, mesmerizing music.

I love the title cut. It is a philosophy we should all subscribe to and although McGraw denies that the songs on this album are actually reflective of where he is in his own life, he easily delivers them with an amazing depth of feeling. Despite the title, McGraw says, "When I heard the song, it didn't ring to be about death to me. It's more an affirmation of life, more than anything." I agree. Great song.

This is the Tim McGraw I got hooked on in the 90's. The energy, the emotion, the music and on this album he delivers a definitive collection of excellent story songs. I loved them all and with sixteen to choose from I had a tough time selecting a favorite and ended up with more than a couple.

"Back When" is a cleverly worded, two-steppin', nostalgia trip to simpler times while "Old Town New" is a more wistful trip down memory lane. There were several songs that certainly forced you to listen carefully; "Kill Myself" was one of those. After my second listen, I decided it was metaphorical death as a result of growth, or at least, I think it is. Each listener can decide for themselves. There is way too much in this song to absorb in just a couple of spins.

The whole album will make you think about a lot of things. It will make you remember too. Old times, old ways and the days when the music was always good.

This one is a definite keeper. Rowdy roustabout McGraw takes it to a new level with this album and it isn't higher ... it is undeniably deeper. Great stuff.

Rating: BUY IT!

Tim McGraw - Live Like You were Dying track list: 

1. How Bad Do You Want It 
2. My Old Friend 
3. Can't Tell Me Nothin'
4. Old Town New 
5. Live Like You Were Dying 
6. Drugs Or Jesus 
7. Back When 
8. Something's Broken 
9. Open Season On My Heart 
10. Everybody Hates Me 
11. Walk Like A Man 
12. Blank Sheet Of Paper 
13. Just Be Your Tear 
14. Do You Want Fries With That 
15. Kill Myself 
16. We Carry On 


Real People Reviews

"Live Like You were Dying" 
My father passed away with cancer in June 2006. We listened to this song so many times on the way to chemo, while dad was lying in bed in pain, up till day he died. I know he was just soaking up the words and wishing he could really live it up if only he had known before getting weak so fast with cancer. When I hear this song now, it brings memories and tears being with him while he was dying.
~ Carla

 

As a long time McGraw fan, not believing he could top his last record-he has done it again. This record is lyrically and produced with amazing flare. If you’re not a fan of McGraw’s ballads and are more for the novelty songs that helped raise him to super stardom then to you this record will seem lacking. I assure you, give it a listen, I mean really listen . . . don’t just sit there hearing the songs, listen to what Tim is saying. The title track to the record is defiantly an insight to what the album had in store.

- How Bad Do You Want It" -- 4/5 -- A vengeful way to start of the record ! Imagine sitting by the camp fire listening to each other sing, that soft off old western feel. Turns into a fun song that’s just not my cup of tea. 

- "My Old Friend" -- 5/5 -- This track was record for McGraw’s buddy Danny Knight who is in service overseas. The song is very easy to relate to; it will remind you of someone you hold dear.

- "Can't Tell Me Nothin'" -- 5/5 -- Brings me back to some older Tim songs; a true-to-heart story of a stubborn young man. 

- "Old Town New" -- 5/5 -- Perfect story of the sentimental value of your own hometown.

- "Live Like You Were Dyin'" -- 5/5 -- An amazing tribute and sung with a touching passion. 

- "Drugs Or Jesus" -- 5/5 -- Very personal, true to its words. It explains so well the simplicity of life and all its complication. 

- "Back When" -- 5/5 -- Picks up the pace again on the album. I can't help but relate to this as it tells so perfectly how times have changed. People have changed, times have changed, as has the way we talk. Love the chorus. Something that sticks in your head for awhile...in a good way. Not your typical novelty song.

- "Something's Broken" -- 5/5 -- Narration of this song was uniquely written an aspect you will find often on this record. This track is about a man who is dealing with the pain of a broken heart.

- "Open Season On My Heart" -- 5/5 -- A great story of things going wrong that are, as the title says, causing 'open season on my heart'. It's very easy to relate to. Beautiful song. 

- "Everybody Hates Me" -- 5/5 -- I think both McGraw and wife Faith are living out the lyrics to this fun up-tempo track. Speaks of the jealous that covers not just your working environment but in life, how people talk in green when someone succeeds.

- "Walk Like A Man" -- 5/5 -- A very touching, sad song about a father who loses control as a result of drinking. The chorus is very sad but well-written, replaying the words of the mother in a 'like father, like son' phrasing. 

- "Blank Sheet Of Paper" -- 5/5 -- A very different song, written from the point of view of a piece of paper on which a man is writing a letter, without much success. If a tear falls on the paper it says it all. McGraw's equally talented wife appears as background vocals on this track.

- "Just Be Your Tear" -- 5/5 -- Wonderful story about an onlooker who wants nothing more than to be with this girl who's being mistreated by the man she's with. Very nice beat as well to this one. 

- "Do You Want Fries With That" -- 3/5 -- Written from the point of view of a man behind the drive-in window of a fast-food restaurant, it's telling about the man on the other side of the window who's living the life he once did. Not one of my favorites!! 

- "Kill Myself" -- 5/5 -- Listen to this song, listen with your mind and heart open. It’s absolutely breath taking. My favorite track on the record. It’s about a man learning to deal with the pain of losing what he once had.

- "We Carry On" -- 5/5 -- A beautiful finish to this album. It's very well-written, telling stories of unfortunate men and women and how we all carry on with our lives. 

All in all a super well rounded record.  5 stars.

Laura J.

 

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