Gary Allan's the kind of singer who can reach deep into the guts of a song and wring the most intense emotion from it. Set You Free is no walk in the park—it teems with pain, regret and anger, and Allan doesn't try to shield the listener from the shrapnel. Whether he's hammering out an Eric Church-like, Southern rock-tinged tune ("Bones"), unfolding an alcoholic's slow-rolling lament ("It Ain't the Whiskey") or moaning a lonely, soul-soaked ballad ("Hungover Heart"), Allan's like a tour guide to the heart's shadowy underside. When he finally casts off his cares on the reggae-baked "No Worries," you're almost tempted to think he's being ironic.
Jim Allen, Google Play