Tim McGraw & the Dancehall Doctors

Recording with a road band wouldn't raise an eyebrow in most circles, but for Nashville the move is unusual, if not unprecedented.

RELEASE DATE: Nov. 26

Recording with a road band wouldn't raise an eyebrow in most circles, but for Nashville the move is unusual, if not unprecedented. McGraw makes a big to-do of it here, and even with producer Byron Gallimore at the helm, the results thankfully own a rich heartbeat and surprising soul. This is a great record, from the military-style intro and "event" feel of opener "Comfort Me" and soft swells of ballads "Tickin' Away" and "All We Ever Find" to the warm regret of "Red Ragtop" and ambitious vocals of "That's Why God Made Mexico," perhaps McGraw's best ever. His personality and swagger are aces in the hole, best played on a thumpin' "Illegal" and later on the intimate ballad "I Know How to Love You Well" and ornery "Real Good Man." Perfectly imperfect and totally fearless, this may well be McGraw's crowning achievement in a career already studded with success.—RW