Freedom

Andy Griggs' latest on RCA is a diverse and engaging effort. Swirling guitars and a confident vocal set the tone early on the title cut, and "The Road to Lasting Love" is a sultry midtempo.

Andy Griggs' latest on RCA is a diverse and engaging effort. Swirling guitars and a confident vocal set the tone early on the title cut, and "The Road to Lasting Love" is a sultry midtempo. "Practice Life," a working-man wake-up call with Martina McBride, effectively blends their vocals above guitars, organ, and thumping bottom. Griggs gets the job done on such guitar-oriented fare as "Brand New Something Going On," then evokes a swampy edge on "Hundred Miles of Bad Road" and heads into Bocephus country with "Where's a Train." He also shines on such ballads as the smoldering "Always" and the winning debut single "Tonight I Wanna Be Your Man." Griggs, thankfully, doesn't take himself too seriously on "How Cool Is That" and evokes his Louisiana pedigree with the future hit "Sweetheart of Beinja Bayou." A big, bold record.—RW