Severing a 20-year relationship with Curb Records (MGM) the original mustache pop cowboy Tim McGraw is kicking his 45-year-old heels into independent dirt, with the forthcoming release of his 12th record, Two Lanes of Freedom (February 5) on Big Machine, of which his dude man Scott Borchetta runs. “I had to change my life,” he told People magazine, revealing his push to quit drinking – he’s been sober for five-years, he says – and refocus his career with a family backbone. If you continue to read People you will know that he also has an “eight-pack,” his daughters are all entering or already teenage and that he’s been perfectly married to fellow country starlet Faith Hill for 16 years now. All of which is relevant we suppose as we mine the second single from the new path, “One of Those Nights,” and its adolescent spotlight on small town America glory days: [LISTEN]

Coming up on midnight, bout time to get going

And then the DJ starts to play your favorite song

You slow dance for three minutes or so

And then she whispers ‘baby let’s go’

But then again, Two Lanes of Freedom‘s first raunchy-rawk single cites Lil’ Wayne, “cold brew” and “a girl with a Truck Yeah” as the objects of his ultimate, “redneck” affection. So there’s some obvious contention between inner-McGraw and outer-McGraw. While the anthemic title-track, just debuted this past Saturday, is definitely an overwrought howler typical of a man taking new directions, backup choir and all: [LISTEN; Via Billboard]

God made old country roads for driving and dreaming

Mind’s coming through right here with you on two lanes of freedom

Dude’s still gotta sell records, we guess. Outside of the open roads of the rest of the album, what do you think of McGraw’s new paths so far?