Dealing with adversity 

CD Review

Joe O'Gara Tough All Over Gary Allan MCA

CD Review

Joe O'Gara Tough All Over Gary Allan MCA Nashville
Tough All Over is an album that showcases not only Gary Allan's vocals and musicianship, but also his songwriting abilities. It's a poignant and sometimes painful look at how one man deals with a tragedy that changed the course of not only the project, but also his life. And when it came to writing and recording the majority of the songs on this album, Allan was dealing with a tragedy that put his music and life in a different light. Last October, just as he had started work on the project, Allan's wife committed suicide. Allan's writing and recording Tough All Over became a sort of therapy to deal with the situation. He shares the hurt and first steps on the road to recovery throughout the album. The first single, "Best I Ever Had," is a perfect example: You can sense the pain Allan feels as he sings, "I wish you were still here / And I say it sadly." In addition to the songs that show Allan dealing with the tragic loss of his wife, there are a couple of tunes about other subjects, including "Nickajack Cave (Johnny Cash's Redemption)," a narrative about a turning point in the late country singer's life after he overcame his drug and alcohol addiction. Tough All Over isn't a "party" album. It's an emotional display of one man dealing with adversity through his music.

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