Tim McGraw
Set This Circus Down


2.5
average

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
December 13th, 2006 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


Contemporary country is really just a terrible genre of music. It’s comparable in a way to reggaeton; every song just plain sounds the same, and most of the time are essentially the same tune played over. Lyrical themes are constantly repeated, singers have extremely similar, “southern” accents that cause them to sound more idiotic than introspective. Tim McGraw was a large avatar for this in his earlier releases, but he started to become more tolerable as time went on. Set This Circus Down, in my eyes his best album, shows the time where he was at both the least level of cheese, but had not yet “sold out,” or sold out as much as you can in the Country scene.

Tim McGraw actually has quite the voice, relatively. He does have a southern accent, but it isn’t hick-ish nor is it as thick and fake as most other pop country artists. He’s a powerful vocalist, who can go from soft crooning to some great booming vocals in an instant. “Telluride” finds him singing in falsettos that meld well with the guitar solos and harmonized backup vocals. While he isn’t on the level of emotion and raw charisma as other country greats, he certainly is at least near the top of current/90’s pop country artists to say the least.

Of course, next come the matter of his lyrical prowess. Yeah, he really doesn’t deviate much from any other country artist out there. He deals with the same issues about love, taking drugs, failed love, quitting drugs…oh and some stuff about his family and random stories and the like. He does do some very bare thinking on “Grown Men Don’t Cry” but its too little too late, as he repeats the same themes as he has on every record before this and after. His technical songwriting abilities are nothing to write home about either, as he uses the same cliché metaphors and imagery as George Strait did, only ten years prior.

Then there’s the major problem with Country music, which is the “musical” aspect of it. Plain and simple, the problem with it as a whole is the same session musicians are constantly used. Yes, they’re great players, but when you have the same 5 or 6 people playing on every country record coming out of Tennessee, there’s going to be a variety problem. You’re not going to hear a single interesting idea here; Western-styled guitars, lots of heavy snare hits, and the same old mandolin/steel guitar solo used in every two bit Country album since Joe Nichols was born. This album follows along perfectly in that; the music is uninspired and dull, and nearly always bleeds into the next song regardless of whether it’s a ballad or show-stopping number.

I talk about this album so generally because it is an album of generalities, if I can stretch the word so. Tim McGraw, while having a great voice, is still everything wrong with country music (Or rather, was). He constantly rehashes the same ideas, never bringing any new originality to an audience that merely demands a new catchy hook to get behind and sing every five minutes to their fellow man. Tim McGraw may be a product of a stagnant environment, but he could still push out his boundaries more than he does here. While it isn’t as outright bad and overdone as his previous efforts, its still just a bland Country album that will only appeal to fans of the genre (although it will massively appeal if you can take all the genericness of it).



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh man another terrible country review what ever shall I do.

The Sludge
December 13th 2006


2169 Comments


[quote=Iluvatar]Oh man another terrible country review what ever shall I do.[/quote]
...Write more of them, you hit it dead on about contemporary country.

Intransit
December 13th 2006


2797 Comments


decent work. I cant bring myself to enjoy the genre though

Tyler
Emeritus
December 13th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Tim McGraw fucking sucks.

Great review, though.

The Door Mouse
December 13th 2006


2092 Comments


Great review. And short. I don't see myself picking this up anytime soon.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2006


17920 Comments


Good review. It's short too! Wow!!

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2006


2688 Comments


I didn't even know we had a country subgenre. Nice review.

Angmar
December 13th 2006


2689 Comments


yeah country bores me good job as usual.

Eliminator
December 14th 2006


2067 Comments


Country isn't metal enough!

Otisbum
December 14th 2006


1912 Comments


I agree with you about that he has a good voice, iluv.

I don't think I'll ever like country, it just sucks in general.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2008


17920 Comments


bump for gyaness

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2008


17920 Comments


np np

i really like the song tim mcgraw by taylor swift have you heard it

JoelC
December 8th 2008


5 Comments


Tim Mcgraws awesome.

SnackaryBinx
December 8th 2008


2309 Comments


i lol'd. hard.



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