Two Lanes Of FreedomThe six-pack he’s currently flaunting in People magazine certainly isn’t the only change country royalty Tim McGraw has undergone since he recorded Emotional Traffic back in 2010. For having finally broken free from the shackles of the Curb Records label he’s been battling with for years, Mr. Faith Hill has decided it’s time to go indie in more ways than one. Not only has he hooked up with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records, but the newly-toned 45-year-old has also flirted with everything from Kings Of Leon-esque stadium folk-rock to The Eagles-inspired Americana on the most eclectic record of his career, Two Lanes Of Freedom. Here’s a look at five sets of lyrics pre-occupied with a similar sense of abandonment.

Two Lanes Of Freedom

Tim McGrawAnyone expecting a The Artist Formerly Known As-style diatribe against his restrictive former record company may find themselves disappointed as the album’s title track is merely an account of a carefree town-to-town journey filled with the usual clichés of hair blowing in the breeze, watching the sunset and erm, Driving Miss Daisy. Now a multi-millionaire, it’s unlikely McGraw can even remember the last time he stayed in a ‘cheap motel,’ but he sells the modest road trip well on an anthemic slice of hillbilly folk ‘n’ roll.

Babe, there’s no red lights or stop signs around for miles
Just swaying trees, your hair in the breeze, and that smile, and I know
God’s working down from that sky blue ceiling
He made these old country roads for driving and dreaming
Mine’s coming true girl here with you on two lanes of freedom

Number 37405

Tim McGrawFocusing on a different kind of freedom, this appropriately solemn country ballad shines the spotlight on a former club singer sentenced to fifteen years in jail following a fatal drink-driving incident. Now on the verge of parole, the convict might be truly sorry for his recklessness, but it’s still asking a lot of audiences to offer any sympathy for his slightly self-pitying talk about a cold solitary prison cell and the agony of missing his estranged partner.

Well she used to come and see him, every other weekend
And bring him all the news from way back home
It’s been two birthdays since he’s kissed her
Five seconds since he’s missed her
Now the perfume on those letters ain’t that strong

Mexicoma

Tim McGrawDespite dealing with the aftermath of a particularly heavy session, “Mexicoma” is the kind of hangover song that is arguably more party-oriented than the night before as McGraw revels in the fact he has no idea which part of the south of the border he woke up in over a jaunty bar-room piano-rock production. A vague drinking/love metaphor is half-heartedly thrown into the inebriated mix but it’s the celebration of Mexican excess that the stoners of Tortilla Jo’s will best relate to. [LISTEN]

Sure was good to know you
I still wanna hold ya
But I know it’s over
You ain’t coming back
This ain’t California
I’m somewhere south of the border

Highway Don’t Care

Tim McGrawA more problematic tale of life on the open road, McGraw wrestles with both his inner conscience and guest star Taylor Swift’s emotionally blackmailing ‘song on the radio’ after deciding to drive away from a troubled relationship. Keith Urban also adds to the sense of drama with a typically sultry guitar solo, but it’s everyone’s favourite serial monogamist who steals the show as she tries to tempt her wayward ex back by arguing that the freedom of the highway is no compensation for her comforting charms. [LISTEN]

Bet your window’s rolled down and your hair’s pulled back
And I bet you got no idea you’re going way too fast
You’re trying not to think about what went wrong
Trying not to stop ’til you get where you goin’

Truck Yeah

Tim McGrawProof that a change will not necessarily always do you good, “Truck Yeah!” sees McGraw regress back to the schoolboy days when discovering words that rhymed with various profanities could entertain for hours. Married to the same country superstar for 15 years, a father to three kids and a recent convert to sobriety, his Lil Wayne-listening, backroom-chilling, cold brew-sipping claims sound more like the ramblings of a man going through a mid-life crisis than a genuine celebration of redneck culture. File under ‘should know better.’

Thumpin’ on the subs in the back of my crew cab
Redneck rockin’ like a rockstar
Sling a lil’ mud off the back, we can do that
Friday night football, Saturday Last Call, Sunday Hallelujah
If you like it up loud and you’re hillbilly proud
Then you know what I’m talking about