Two Lanes of Freedom

Two Lanes of Freedom

by Tim McGrawTim McGraw


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After years of the strain of legal battles to get out of his contract with Curb Records, Tim McGraw emerges, relaxed and refreshed with Two Lanes of Freedom, his debut recording for Big Machine, co-produced with longtime collaborator Byron Gallimore. McGraw may be celebrating his independence, but he still understands what he needs to get played on country radio as evidenced by the collision of neo-traditionalist melody and hard rock guitars on the pre-release single "Truck Yeah (there are two versions on this set; one is live). His finger popping meld of pop, Southern soul, and contemporary pop on "Southern Girl" uses Auto-Tune in the chorus, and it actually works (why this wasn't chosen as a single is a head scratcher). "Highway Don't Care" -- a duet with Taylor Swift (a thank you for namechecking him in her first big hit) with a killer guitar solo from Keith Urban -- borrows some production cues from Swift's playbook to excellent effect. The hook is irresistible and McGraw's vocal, paired with the young singer's, is a perfect match. This track is actually a real clue as to what McGraw's about these days, wanting to be the perfect combination of pop, country, and rock in one persona. "One of These Nights" is classic McGraw, a midtempo paean to his protagonists object of desire. It's a love song in a sense, but to the nostalgia of the future, not a woman. "Mexicoma" is a pre-hangover heartbreak tune combining a country two-step with a norteño polka; Mike Rojas' accordion is a nice touch, especially where it meets the distorted slide guitars, upright piano, and horns. "Friend of a Friend" is a "talking to you while you're not here" love song. McGraw's protagonist tenderly offers the lyrics as an incantation, straight into the ear of the absent, longed-for other. The title track is saturated with contemporary country tropes, with enough rock & roll riffing to make it a perfect second single. "It's Your World" is a rock & roll screamer, a guaranteed barroom dancefloor anthem. Despite its wide range of material and experimentation, this is the pop record McGraw has always wanted to make. He packs in a little of everything here, and some of it stumbles: "Annie I Owe You a Dance" has too many strings, and the poignant, "37405," a narrative about a country singer turned convict, could have been leaner. But these are small complaints on a solid and ambitious recording. On Two Lanes of Freedom, McGraw proves he is indeed the artist that Curb never let him be.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/05/2013
Label: Big Machine Records
UPC: 0843930007950
catalogNumber: 0100
Rank: 79210


  1. Two Lanes of Freedom
  2. One of those Nights
  3. Friend of a Friend
  4. Southern Girl
  5. Truck Yeah
  6. Nashville Without You
  7. Book of John
  8. Mexicoma
  9. Number 37405
  10. It's Your World
  11. Highway Don't Care

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tim McGraw   Primary Artist
Marty Krystall   Clarinet
David Angell   Violin
Greg Barnhill   Background Vocals
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Paul Bushnell   Bass
Steve Churchyard   Horn Engineer
David Davidson   Violin
Dan Dugmore   Lap Steel Guitar
Shannon Forrest   Percussion,Drums
Byron Gallimore   Percussion,Background Vocals
Jim Grosjean   Viola
Michael Landau   Electric Guitar
Jamie Muhoberac   Keyboards
Steve Nathan   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Wurlitzer
Mike Rojas   Accordion
William Roper   Tuba
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Lee Thornburg   Trumpet
Alan Umstead   Violin
Catherine Umstead   Violin
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Keith Nicholas   Cello
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Monisa Angell   Viola
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin
Julie Tanner   Cello
Erika Duke   Cello
David Levita   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Alyssa Park   Violin
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Steve Richards   Cello
Michele Richards   Violin
Tereza Stanislav   Violin
Betsy Lamb   Violin
Julia Emahiser   Cello
Janet Darnall   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Karen Winklemann   Violin
Ilya Toshinskiy   Acoustic Guitar,Resonator
Joanna Cotton   Background Vocals
Conni Ellisor   Violin

Technical Credits

Tim McGraw   Producer,Liner Notes
David Campbell   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Byron Gallimore   Producer
Julian King   Engineer
Andrew Dorff   Composer
James Slater   Composer
Scott Stepakoff   Composer
Mark Irwin   Composer
Erik Lutkins   Engineer
Glenn Sweitzer   Art Direction
Garth Condit   grooming
Shane McAnally   Composer
Brad Warren   Composer
Brett Warren   Composer
Danny Myrick   Composer
Jaren Johnston   Composer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Rodney Clawson   Composer
Troy Jones   Composer
Josh Kear   Composer
Luke Laird   Composer
Chris Janson   Composer
Tom Douglas   Composer
Kyle Jacobs   Composer
Joe Leathers   Composer
Josh Osborne   Composer
Preston Brust   Composer
Jon Nite   Composer
Greg Becker   Composer
Jen Schott   Composer
Chris Tompkins   Composer
Chris Lucas   Composer
Francesca Talot   grooming
Ruston Kelly   Composer

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