Gary Allan, ‘Ruthless’
Gary Allan’s first album in eight years sounds…exactly like Gary Allan. And that’s glorious. At 54, the California native’s reedy tenor is fully intact and his song choices are spot-on. “Waste of a Whiskey Drink” would have fit nicely on 2005’s Tough All Over (it’s criminal that it wasn’t a radio hit). “Slide” evokes vintage Allan like “Man to Man.” And the title track is a reminder that few do smoldering love ballads quite like him. But it’s “What I Can’t Talk About,” a salvation-through-song anthem, that is Ruthless’s mission statement. “What I hold in, the music lets out,” Allan sings in a chilling falsetto, proof to the ageists in Nashville that great artists do get better with time. —J.H.
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