15 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gary Allan is the archetypal country outlaw with a broken heart, making albums that mix rugged resolve with a haunting sense of loss. Get Off On the Pain is filled with emotionally true accounts of wounded love and hard-won acceptance. Allan has refined the aching edge of his voice into an instrument of subtle skill. As tormented ballads like “Today” and “Along the Way” show, he knows how to convey suffering while maintaining his dignity. The material here is up to his high standards, with “Kiss Me When I’m Down” (an account of a damaged relationship that draws real blood) and “No Regrets” (a nostalgic number filled with bittersweet gratitude) standing out for their tough-minded honesty. Allan turns his hard knocks into an anthem in the ornery title tune and soars above everyday troubles in “That Ain’t Gonna Fly.” The album’s sweeter tunes — especially “She Gets Me” and “When You Give Yourself Away” — still retain the grit of Allan’s honky-tonk days. In the end, Get Off On the Pain transcends its world of hurt to arrive at a place of hope and forgiveness.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gary Allan is the archetypal country outlaw with a broken heart, making albums that mix rugged resolve with a haunting sense of loss. Get Off On the Pain is filled with emotionally true accounts of wounded love and hard-won acceptance. Allan has refined the aching edge of his voice into an instrument of subtle skill. As tormented ballads like “Today” and “Along the Way” show, he knows how to convey suffering while maintaining his dignity. The material here is up to his high standards, with “Kiss Me When I’m Down” (an account of a damaged relationship that draws real blood) and “No Regrets” (a nostalgic number filled with bittersweet gratitude) standing out for their tough-minded honesty. Allan turns his hard knocks into an anthem in the ornery title tune and soars above everyday troubles in “That Ain’t Gonna Fly.” The album’s sweeter tunes — especially “She Gets Me” and “When You Give Yourself Away” — still retain the grit of Allan’s honky-tonk days. In the end, Get Off On the Pain transcends its world of hurt to arrive at a place of hope and forgiveness.

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