CD Review of Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw

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Live Like You Were Dying
starstarstarstarno star Label: Curb Records
Released: 2004
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I find it funny, and somewhat encouraging, that Tim McGraw gets more country with every album he releases. I have to admit that I never thought he’d last when I heard “Don’t Take the Girl” so many years ago. That being said, let’s take a look at his latest release, Live Like You Were Dying.

“How Bad Do You Want It” is the perfect start for this project. It’s a good ole David Allen Coe-style rocker. “My Old Friend” is a nice down-tempo ditty saying goodbye to someone close -- I have a sneaking suspicion you will be hearing this one on the radio.

“Make This Old Town New” is a great story song. “…the people I know, the places I go, remind me of you. Won’t somebody come around and make this old town new?” Then the title track makes you think about life, and how short it is, and what a terminally dying man said he was doing with his remaining time…yeah, sounds morbid, but a great tune, one of McGraw’s best ever.

“Drugs or Jesus” is an introspective look at how everybody is looking for something: “We’re all looking for love in our lives, we follow the roads that lead us to drugs or Jesus…oh I need you Jesus.” An interesting turn for the once-wild-cowboy-turned-family-man. “Open Season on my Heart” is a retro-sounding song with a ‘70s kind of vibe to it.

Tim McGraw has made a career out of telling the kinds of stories that bring a tear to the eye of even the toughest man. “Walk Like a Man” is one of those daddy-advice songs. “Blank Sheet of Paper” is the story of a guy who needs to write a letter to a girl before he loses her, but is having a hard time putting the words down…told from the sheet of paper’s view. Strange, yes, but it works.

Tim McGraw has definitely matured, and this is easily one of his best works yet. This is a good solid country album, and if you haven’t been a big fan of his in the past, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this one. I know I was. You get your money’s worth --16 songs, some rockers, some sad, some love songs, some attitude songs, and all real country. Before you spend money on that Big and Rich junk, buy this CD; unlike B&R, you won't get tired of it in a week.