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Get Off on the Pain by Gary Allan

With every release, Gary’s brand of California-rugged country music seems to strip him down, revealing an even more authentic, intense layer.

On the edgy title track, Gary contemplates his strange affinity for hard times and women who do him wrong, which sets the stage for the rest of the album. On “I Think I Had Enough,” he’s found a girl who will make him trade in some of his rebel ways, yet judging by his resigned, aching vocal on “Today,” his pleas weren’t enough to make her stay.

With the smoldering “We Fly by Night” and with Gary’s softly gruff voice lying beside subtle harmonies and piano, he’s giving love another chance. The album’s biggest downfall is the somewhat dull lyrics on “Kiss Me When I’m Down,” in which he begs for an at least temporary reunion in a moment of weakness.

He returns to his transparent best, singing of the pains of loving a musician on “She Gets Me,” and finally assures fans that he has made peace with his real-life personal tragedies, which include his wife’s suicide a few years ago, on the aptly titled “No Regrets.”

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