Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: Gary Allan's Get Off On the Pain

Get Off On the Pain EPK stream at YouTube.

Rodney Crowell altered my expectations of country music.

The Texan practically jumped out of his skin as he warmed up an audience on hand to see Dwight Yoakam in the late '80s. I found Crowell's simultaneous embrace of several different styles of music exhilarating. The only thing I recall today about Yoakam's appearance was the reaction my date had to his skin-tight jeans. The memory of Crowell's manic energy, however, stayed with me.

Get Off On the Pain, the impressive new album by Gary Allan, has that same dizzying effect on me. The album includes nods to Roy Orbison, The Byrds, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Marty Stuart and The Mavericks. Somehow Allen manages to condense these influences into a sound that's tolerable to today's fickle country radio programmers.

It seems like an impossible feat, but Allan's pain songs appeal to both Webb Pierce fans and soccer moms.

Demencha provides a download of Ron Ron's 1995 album Ironic. Unfortunately, it's in WMA format, so I'm unable to hear how it compares to the rapper's Skitzofrinik, my #3 album of 2009.

I'm intrigued by Shadowboxer, a new "jazz opera" (my words) based on the life of Joe Louis.

It's no secret that I'm loopy for Esperanza Spalding. She recently performed for an NPR affiliate.

I'm taking a blogger break. There Stands the Glass will resume near the end of March.


bigsteveno said...

I love Crowell's music from that period (Diamonds & Dirt rules), but I think maybe his "manic energy" was possibly chemically induced, no?

I'll have to check out this Allan guy's record.

Enjoy your break.

Happy In Bag said...

I wasn't going to go there, BigSteveNO.