Tim McGraw Sundown Heaven Town: Deluxe on 180g 2LP
Deluxe Edition Includes 5 Bonus Tracks!
Tim McGraw takes us back with Sundown Heaven Town, his thirteenth studio album (and second release for Big Machine Records). "I picture a little town, like the one I grew up in," he says of the album's picturesque title. "It's late in the afternoon. Sunset. Maybe some kids are playing baseball, and their family members are in the stands. You're at the point where the working week has given way to the weekend. That's my idea of sundown in heaven town."
Sundown Heaven Town pays tribute to the past two decades, putting a new stamp on all of the sounds the revved-up country rockers, the nostalgic ballads, the down-home numbers that have made McGraw one of the best-selling country artists of the modern era. From the banjo riff that kicks off the opening track, "Overrated," to the digital percussion that pushes "Lookin' for that Girl" into pop-influence territory, Sundown Heaven Town mixes the old with the new, the rustic with the modern, the organic with the electric. It's a country record, in other words... with all the twists and turns we've come to expect from someone who's been at the top of the genre since 1994. "This album is very encompassing of everything that I've done in my career," McGraw explains. "It's a good microcosm of what my 20 years in music has been. You can hear parts of my career throughout all these songs, as well as the future and where my music is headed."
Sundown Heaven Town also shines a light on the family, friends, and collaborators who've played roles in McGraw's career. His first cousin, Catherine Dunn, joins him on "Diamonds Rings and Old Barstools," a classic-sounding country ballad about love on the rocks. His wife of 18 years, Faith Hill, lends her award-winning vocals to "Meanwhile Back at Mama's." Longtime friend Kid Rock makes an appearance, too, raising a rootsy ruckus on the bonus track "Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs." McGraw also reveals his softer side with tracks like "Words are Medicine" and "Portland, Maine."
From start to finish, Sundown Heaven Town tips its cowboy hat to the traditions of country music, then tosses a some new ingredients into the mix. The result is a melting pot of everything Tim McGraw does best. It's a country album for 2014, anchored by a fondness for the genre and the desire to push it into uncharted territory. More than anything else, it's proof that artists can sound contemporary without chasing after current trends. After all, trends don't last but songs do. Especially songs like these.