For a man with almost 20 years in the country music business, Gary Allan should know what goes into a successful album.
And he certainly does. "Set You Free" is Allan's tenth album, including one greatest hits record.
He's got a voice made specifically for country; it would be difficult to hear him regularly on mainstream pop, though after so long in the industry he takes notes from different genres to add to his own sound.
The single off of this album, "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)," merges well the newer rock-leaning country with Allan's traditional country voice. My only critique with this song is that it never seemed to have a climactic point. The song rose well, but at the moment you expect him to belt the chorus once more, he doesn't add anything else to the mix. That being said, it's still a good song.
In contrast to "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)," "No worries" offers more of an island feel, a slower and more laid-back melody and instrumentation.
The running joke about country music is that by the end of the song everything you owned or once loved has been taken away from you. There's a little of that in "Set You Free," to be sure. "Bones" features lines including "I've got bones to pick with you, / I should have known, / You can't be true, / Me and the devil, / We want what's due," and directly after that, "It Ain't the Whiskey" includes "It ain't the whiskey. It ain't the cigarettes. It ain't the stuff I smoke. / ... / No it ain't that easy, cause it ain't the whiskey that's killin' me."
On the other end, however, are songs such as "Good as New," which includes, "You made my life a lullaby / You put the spark back into my eyes / You put the shine in the shining sea / And you hung the moon where it should be."
"Set You Free" is a solid country album. It's got a good sound, and Allan's voice sounds great. What's refreshing, and not necessarily assumed with an album, is that not every song sounds identical. It's easy to listen to "Set You Free" straight through and not get bored with what this artist has to offer.