Tim McGraw prides himself on making meaningful albums and this one is no different. McGraw reflects on a lot of emotion in “Sundown Heaven Town,” and he connects the music with his own life in an authentic way.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, McGraw said, “Artists should make the kind of music you want to make. I don’t think what’s happening, what’s not happening, what people think should dictate what you do as an artist. You have to be honest about your music and make the best record you can for yourself, and hopefully that will connect with everybody else.”
“Sundown Heaven Town” is McGraw’s 13th studio album. It is composed of 18 tracks, which are a good balance of slow and up-tempo songs. He includes different themes ranging from love songs, to feel good summer songs, to songs about life. The title of the album is not a track but rather a line from his first single, “Lookin’ for that Girl.”
The album contains three duets. One of which, “Meanwhile Back at Mamas (feat. Faith Hill),” became an instant hit when the single aired on country radio. This is a not a song that will just go away, and will easily be turned into a country classic. It is sung with his wife, Hill, in which they share their nostalgia for the simple life back at home.
Catherine Dunn, McGraw’s cousin, sings on “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” which is reminiscent of a traditional country song. “Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs,” features Kid Rock. This duet along with the solo track “I’m Feelin’ You,” give a feel good vibe and incorporate jazzy elements.
The first track on the album, “Overrated,” explains that “we’re all running after something, but if it ain’t love it’s nothing.” The song is not only about love but about having ambitions. It’s about going after the things you want, everything else is overrated. “City Lights,” another love song on the album, describes a woman as “a brand-new song on an old guitar, a supernova in a Mason jar.”
McGraw’s song “Kids Today,” is relatable to all ages. “Kids today, young and crazy, making all the same mistakes, thinking, baby, all we’ve got is time to waste, and hearts to break,” sings McGraw.
Kids can relate to it because the song talks about what they are going through. Adults also relate to the words because they have all been there before, or if they are parents they are watching their kids go through life. McGraw has three daughters which is what drew him to record this song.
Other notable songs include, “Keep on Truckin’,” “Dust” and “Portland, Maine.” Songs that fall short include, “The View,” and “Black Jacket,” which are both featured only on the deluxe edition.
“Shotgun Rider,” is McGraw’s newest single that recently hit country radio. “I don’t ever want to wake up, looking into someone else’s eyes…I don’t want no other shotgun rider beside me, singing to the radio,” sings McGraw. This is a unique kind of love song in which McGraw sings about having not just anyone, but that special someone. McGraw fans may get confused because McGraw’s 2007 album, “Let it Go,” also features a song called “Shotgun Rider,” however this is a different song.
McGraw has a unique ability to include elements of new age country music while still staying true to classic country music. This gives him a huge advantage when it comes to pleasing his fan base. McGraw has been a significant part of the country music scene since his first album, self titled “Tim McGraw,” in 1993.
Although he has been in the business for 21 years he still is able to connect with his fans from the beginning. By adding modern elements he has been able to connect with new fans of all ages. McGraw has been a constant hit in country music and has proved once again he is not going anywhere.