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CD review: Tim McGraw’s ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’

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Tim McGraw
Two Lanes of Freedom
Three stars

Tim McGraw isn’t one for surprises.

The country superstar and resident Strip performer’s 12th album, Two Lanes of Freedom, plays it safe and familiar, with solidly crafted songs that will please his fans (as well as country-radio programmers) without challenging them too much. Two Lanes is a little more consistent than last year’s Emotional Traffic, but otherwise it follows the same patterns, balancing country twang with arena-rock guitars and crossover-friendly pop melodies. Sometimes this leads to catchy, appealing songs like the cleverly constructed “One of Those Nights” (a stellar example of effective parallel structure in country lyrics), the lovely ballad “Nashville Without You” and the Taylor Swift-assisted “Highway Don’t Care.” And sometimes it leads to abominations like the loud, obnoxious “Truck Yeah,” which actually begins with McGraw singing, “Got Lil Wayne pumping on my iPod.” Either way, it’s easy to listen to, and often just as easy to forget.

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