Gary Allen 'Get Off On The Pain' Humphead

Quite where Gary Allen is going with this album I'm not sure. It sounds big and bold and continues the direction of his last album that had a strong mainstream rock emphasis. There are still some country elements at play here, both in the lyrical themes and in the sound on some of the tracks. Steel guitar is included but it is largely subsumed into the guitar, bass and drum sound. It is good to see the name of Jamie O'Hara among the writer credits and his co-writes are some of the best things here. We Fly By Night has a strong melody and Allen, who wrote it with Odie Blackmon and the aforementioned O'Hara, delivers a strong believable performance. Blackmon and Allen also co-wrote several other songs but it is the closing track which Allen co-wrote with Jeff Hanna and Jon Randall that packs the most emotive performance on the album. No Regrets is about deep,dividing loss and will resonate with many who have experienced that lasting pain. There seems to be less bombast here and that this is a direction that really works for him. That he has moved from the more traditional elements of his earlier albums is also evident in the styling, gone are the cowboy hat and western-styled outfits to be replaced by a look that might sit better with what Music Row perceives as a big crossover audience. But then Allen is a co-producer here so maybe he's happy with the direction his music is going. This edition is the deluxe version with 4 additional tracks, 3 of which are live but don't really add a lot to the album other than to show that live he gets a lot of screams and the songs have become singalongs.  A Gary Allen album is always worth listening to and there are some very good songs here but, for this listener, the sound has moved to a place that is a cause for some concern in the long term, but as the current single, Today, is hitting the top twenty maybe not for others.