My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Gary Allan – ‘Hangover Tonight’

Hangover-TonightI’ve come to think of Gary Allan as the male Martina McBride — an artist that I really like, who has shown in recent years, a seeming inability to select quality material. I hold out hope, with each new release, that things are getting back on track, and each time I am disappointed. It is particularly disheartening since Allan’s latest single “Hangover Tonight” is a co-write with Chris Stapleton, formerly of The SteelDrivers.

I suppose it is unrealistic for me to have any expectation that a mainstream artist struggling to get airplay in this day and age will release anything that sounds even remotely country, but the title did suggest that this might actually be a honky-tonk song. Any hopes of that were cruelly dashed by the first notes of the funky, bluesy electric guitar that dominates the track. Not only isn’t this honky-tonk, it isn’t even a drinking song. Alcohol is mentioned, of course, but the term “hangover” is used more in the sense of hanging out all night long, rather than the consequences of the morning after.

Little effort seems to have been put into the writing of this song — the lyrics are superficial, repetitious and don’t really say anything. That in itself is not a huge problem; not every song has to be deep and meaningful. But it would be nice if it actually sounded as though it belonged in the genre under which it is being marketed. I realize that this is not a new complaint, but it is frustrating in the extreme when an artist who is nearly 20 years into his recording career – who has demonstrated in the past that he can do better – phones it in instead of trying to elevate the genre above the usual dreck we’ve come to expect. The newer generation might not know any better but Gary Allan does. Too bad he has chosen the path of least resistance once again.

Listen to it here.

Grade: C

5 responses to “Single Review: Gary Allan – ‘Hangover Tonight’

  1. Paul W Dennis March 7, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I purchased all of Gary’s albums through 2008 but gave up on him after that. I agree with this Razor X’s review completely,

    Gary should give up on the notion of having radio hits and simply try to find (or write) quality material

  2. Ken March 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’ve discovered a great way to stop being aggravated by shallow pop/rock-oriented drivel that masquerades as country music today. I quit listening to it.

    • Razor X March 7, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Same here, Ken. I listen as little as possible but sometimes in order to have something to write about I have to take one for the team. 😉

  3. AndyTheDrifter March 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Yep. Gary Allan used to be one of my mainstream favorites but his output has been steadily declining in quality for some time now. I found his last album to be incredibly bland. I look forward to the day when he is free to record great material without the need for commercial compromise.

    • luckyoldsun March 9, 2015 at 2:42 am

      I don’t know where you get the idea that Gary Allan would rather record something else. From hearing this record, it sounds like he wants to be some sort of funkmaster.

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