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McGraw delivers a classic

Courtney Wilson | Thursday, October 14, 2004

Country music megastar Tim McGraw delivers something exceptional with “Live Like You Were Dying,” his most genuine and emotional album so far. The first single, namely that of the title CD, has dominated country music charts all summer long. The tone of the album is set entirely by this single track. There is an obvious message about life, which is conveyed in each song on this 16-track album. McGraw and his stage band, the Dancehall Doctors, reunite to deliver an album filled with passionate ideas about living life to the fullest. McGraw fans can expect nothing less than grade A country from what is undoubtedly the best, most authentic record he has released. With plenty of experience under his belt, he knew exactly what he wanted to do on this ninth album. Listeners will be surprised to find the record presents the most real country he has yet delivered. On previous records McGraw has had a tendency to perform songs that are more pop country than anything. For this album, however, he seeks to define a side which is more traditional style cowboy.Fans are certainly familiar with McGraw’s stage band, to which he credits on his last CD, “Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors.” Again they reunite to create a collection of impressive and enthused songs. And while Tim McGraw is an amazing songster, he has not yet attempted to write any songs by himself. Instead, he gets help from some of the most talented writers and musicians in Nashville. Top songwriters Bruce Robinson and Darrel Scott collaborated with him to create the reminiscing song, “Old Town New.” Robinson, writer of hit song “Angry All The Time,” and Scott writer of “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” are well known favorites in country music. Faith Hill, McGraw’s wife and a top country songstress, expectedly makes an appearance singing harmonies on the track “Blank Sheet of Paper.” This will be an obvious favorite, as it tells the story of a guy looking to express his feeling for a certain girl. Interestingly enough, however, the song is written from the point of view of the paper itself. Other favorites should include, “Back When,” “Drugs or Jesus” and “We Carry On.” Noticeably enough through the titles of both the album and songs, this record clearly carries a theme about living. The songs contain a philosophy about growing and maturing in life and love. In a way, each track calls on the listeners to reevaluate life and to appreciate it in its entirety.Undeniably, “Live like You Were Dying,” with its uplifting messages and embedded congeniality will absolutely leave McGraw fans smiling.