There's a reason why Tracy Lawrence is on his ninth studio release, and a listen to the honky-tonk good album opener "Crawlin' Again" off his self-titled release reminds listeners why. Here, Lawrence's simple and lighthearted approach to addressing heartache is a refreshing and sorely needed touch in contemporary music -- country and otherwise. Look at these lyrics: "It takes a mama 20 years to make a boy a man/and another woman 20 seconds to have him crawlin' again." "Lawrence" wrote two sentences to describe what musicians fill four-minutes worth of song to express. Then there's the twangy and laid-back title track, where Lawrence, with no trickery or Shakespearean prose, expresses one of people's most fundamental desires: to live well, fully and simply. "Sit down in the porch swing/sip a little ice tea/play with the kids in the yard/it's time to get lazy/had enough crazy/life ain't gotta be so hard." You can't top that. Lawrence's ability to plainly and vividly portray life's moments is sheer artistry. This is best evidenced on "What a Memory," an ode to a mother-son relationship that could make a steer cry. Musically speaking, this set is noticeably more scaled down -- simple guitar lines, 4/4 rhythms, and vocals -- compared to Lawrence's past efforts. His minimalist musical style is in winning tandem with his delightfully direct and honest approach to songwriting. Together, you couldn't ask for more abundant fare. Tracy Lawrence is simply a great, real piece of work. It restores faith in jaded audiences who believe music has degenerated into one huge bucket of cookie-cutter swill. Less is so much more sometimes, and if artists can pull this off successfully, as Lawrence does here, God bless them.
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AllMusic Review by Liana Jonas