Release Date: Nov 6, 2015
Record label: Big Machine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Country, Neo-Traditionalist Country, Country-Pop
There's an edge, a defiance to the title of Damn Country Music that may not surface in the music, yet it still taps into the essence of Tim McGraw's appeal: he doesn't bother with crossover, he stays true to country and doesn't care who knows it. Thing is, McGraw's definition of country music is quite flexible, something Damn Country Music makes plain. Other singers who pledge allegiance to country music are often rooted in some kind of hardcore twang -- a bit of old Texas honky tonk or perhaps Southern-fried country-rock -- but at his core, McGraw is a soft touch, easily adapting to the shifts in time without ever seeming like he's following fashion.
If Tim McGraw made a record half as good as this title, it'd be pretty good. The actual album is, too, if just barely. One of country's dependable older-gentleman standard-bearers, McGraw's evidently still feeling his oats after the pop trials of last year's Sundown Heaven Town, although he's thankfully past full-on dad-at-the-disco moves like that LP's goofy "Lookin' for That Girl." His latest begins on a more fitting dad note: "Here Tonight," a Celtic-tinged duet with his daughter Gracie, a top-notch harmonizer.