Next time someone tells you they hate new country (right before they tell you they hate rap), ask them about Gary Allan. They'll start kicking themselves for ignoring one of the hardest country singers to chart since Ray Price and George Jones ruled the jukeboxes. With a crackling tenor that recalls early Steve Earle and a steely swing that recalls his Bakersfield influences, Allan subverts the Nashville paradigm like a mole in a ten-gallon Stetson. The funky, electric-piano boogie "Nothing On but the Radio" only sounds dumb if you fixate on the chorus, while "Best I Ever Had" only sounds like a Bryan Adams power-ballad in the background.
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