Country music has always been seen as the cleanest of the music genres. In recent years, though, the style of music has seen rock hybrids and many of the most popular country songs being about alcohol. Much like “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith.
In contrast to Toby Keith, the country veteran Tim McGraw has kept the good-old country style in mind – for the most part – with “Emotional Traffic.” McGraw’s good boy image is evident in the album’s first track “Halo,” which cries out traditional country as much as its electric guitar cries out emotion towards the end. Whether in an emotional or happy-go-lucky vibe, that electric guitar makes an appearance in almost every song.
While there are noticeable rock influences, the album soaks in a few other genres. Possibly trying to keep up with the times, a few pop-esque sounds are thrown into the mix, especially with “The One That Got Away,” which would be a perfectly song for Taylor Swift. “Only Human” mixes it up even more, featuring R&B superstar Ne-Yo. Although a job well done my McGraw, as Ne-Yo overshadows on this one as it features a very R&B-like chorus.
Keeping his country roots, McGraw throws a pass with “Touchdown Jesus.” Although the song is a respectable attempt, it is a bit cheesy. McGraw also throws a real touchdown with “Felt Good on My Lips,” which was actually a number one hit on the country charts in 2010. Two years later, it still represents a strong country single.
The heartfelt emotion in “Emotional Traffic” is highlighted with “One Part Two Part,” featuring his wife Faith Hill and “Better Than I Used to Be.” McGraw has stated that this album is his best album, and with its variety it just might be.