Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors
"Comfort Me" is a love song to America, extolling her fairest traits. McGraw rediscovers the joy of his roots and family life on "Sing Me Home" and "Home"(the latter reflects fondly on church bells and the Bible). Despite recalling an adolescent sexual encounter, "Red Ragtop" makes a pro-life statement by describing how the resulting abortion—regretted and called a "sin"—ended in a painful breakup. Elsewhere, the artist cherishes romantic moments with a special lady ("Sleep Tonight," "Watch the Wind Blow By"), praises his spouse ("She’s My Kind of Rain") and deems true love worth the emotional gamble ("Illegal"). On "That’s Why God Made Mexico," he subtly reminds men to make their wives feel appreciated and "learns to live life in the slow lane," but ...
Mexico is where people escape domestic problems instead of trying to work through them. That track and "Tickin’ Away" prescribe alcohol to wash down life’s disappointments. Mild profanities pop up. A remake of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer" admires a lover who laughs at "Jesus freaks." "Real Good Man" and "Who Are They" seek to excuse irresponsible, occasionally immoral behavior.
It’s easy to embrace McGraw’s take on abortion, and nods to God, country and home. Still, there’s a rowdy rebelliousness about Dancehall Doctors that forces us to pluck pearls of wisdom from amid good-ol’-boy recklessness. Even discerning teens might internalize a little of both.