Add Tracy to the list of country acts—like David Ball, Mark Chesnutt and Chely Wright—whose switches from major labels to independents brought about vast improvements in their music. Different Things is the first release on Tracy’s own label, and he also co-produced the album. The result is lighter on the fun-but-fluffy songs that brought him hits, and heavier on serious fare about hard choices and hard-won wisdom. There’s fun to be had here for sure, but much of Different Things carries a becoming maturity that validates Tracy’s declaration of independence. Sometimes different is better.