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CD Review: Set This Circus Down - Tim McGraw

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Set This Circus Down is Tim McGraw's seventh album, counting his Greatest Hits package from last year, and this one will not disappoint those used to the excellent song selection of Tim's previous releases.

"The Cowboy in Me" has got to be one of my all-time favorite songs that Tim's done. I really hope this will be released as a single. It's one that will never be mistaken for anything but country with great fiddle and steel guitar parts. "The things I've done for foolish pride. The me that's never satisfied. The face that's in the mirror when I don't like what I see. I guess that's just the cowboy in me."

"Telluride" just sounds like a Tim McGraw-type of song. This is a more pop-oriented sound, and I'm sure it's destined to be another of Tim's many No. 1 songs. It's similar in a way to "Everywhere."

"You Get Used To Somebody" is a super ballad about having second thoughts about ending a relationship. "I guess you get used to somebody. I guess you get used to bein' loved."

"Unbroken" is another ballad, and I love it. It's got a great piano intro. He talks about how his love has made him unbroken.

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Set This Circus Down CD Review
Set This Circus Down Cut By Cut
Tim McGraw's Discography
Tim McGraw's Awards

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Tim McGraw CD Review - A Place in the Sun
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"If I walked around at all it was in bits and pieces of a jagged heart. You kissed me and every piece went back in place, every pain got erased."

If you saw last year's (2000) CMA awards, you saw Tim sing the next song, "Things Change." This song made history in that it was recorded from the televised performance, uploaded to Napster, then the radio stations picked up on it and played it enough that it charted without ever being released. It charted as high as 32 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles. The song talks about the artists we refer to as legends today, and how they were not always that way. He refers to Hank Sr., Elvis, and rebels such as Waylon and Willie. It talks about how things were, and how things change.

"Angel Boy" is another of the more pop-sounding songs, and very different from anything Tim's ever done. It even has a part where the background singers sing "Ba ba ba ba ba," and it reminds me of a Partridge Family song.

"Forget About Us" was written by Mark Collie, whom will be included on the Set This Circus Down tour that Tim will be doing along with Kenny Chesney. This one talks about trying to get over a relationship. "I'm gonna think again about the way it was. I'm gonna close my eyes and forget about us."

In "Take Me Away From Here" continues the feeling of trying to get over a relationship. "Give me hopes and dreams to fill my head. Push my heart, so I can fly again." This song was also included on the soundtrack for the Sylvester Stallone motion picture Driven.

"Smilin'" has a quality about it that is similar, at least to me, to "Something Like That." It's a mid-tempo tune about being happy and just smilin'.

"Set This Circus Down" is another sure single. It talks about chasing your dreams with the one you love. "I've gone your way and you've gone my way and everwhere in between..."

"Angry All The Time" was written and performed originally by Bruce Robison with wife, Kelly Willis. Faith provides background vocals for this powerful song. "Here we are, what is left of a husband and a wife, with four good kids who have a way of getting on with their lives..." They do a great job with this, even though it's not your typical Faith & Tim duet.

"Let Me Love You" is very Latin-flavored, and it reminds me a bit of Sting's "Fragile." Love it!

The first single from the album, "Grown Men Don't Cry" is really touching, and shows that grown men really DO cry. Another very different style of song for Tim.

"Why We Said Goodbye" is a really sad ballad, reminiscent of "Please Remember Me."

There are no bad songs on the album. However, if I had to pick only four more to become singles, I'd have to pick: "The Cowboy In Me," "Telluride" "Set This Circus Down," and "Angry All The Time."

After all is said and done, this is another excellent album from Tim, and I highly recommend it.

Song List:

  1. Cowboy in Me
  2. Telluride
  3. You Get Used to Somebody
  4. Unbroken
  5. Things Change
  6. Angel Boy
  7. Forget About Us
  8. Take Me Away from Here
  9. Smilin'
  10. Set This Circus Down
  11. Angry All the Time
  12. Let Me Love You
  13. Grown Men Don't Cry
  14. Why We Said Goodbye


used with permission of Curb Records.

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