November 13, 2012
75 is a slow, typical country swayer with big, twangy guitar lines, introspective lyrics accentuated by that unmistakable country vocal twang. On the title track, The Road, Lewis drives home the issues of living a life away from home with sincerity and reflection. Lewis also brings up some more uplifting themes such as the glimpses of happiness and the good life in Endless Summer.
Basically "The Road" is filled with songs that expand on proven themes in country music but nearly all of it relates closesly to Lewis' own life and while his vocals sometimes miss the range or inflection to become instant hits, the songs never turn into clichés, maybe except for when the man delves too deeply into his patriotism on songs like Red, White And Blue or Granddaddy's Gun.
State Lines near the end of the album deserves a mention and I noticed that the songs that translate into more direct road tales, Lewis tends to come out on top more. Because Anywhere But Here is another highlight and so Lewis is ending the record on a high note with this waltzy swayer. The album closer (Party In Hell), however, comes across a little bland and doesn't achieve the same believability as before.
All in all "The Road" is a decent country album but it doesn't stand out too much. Aaron Lewis is a gifted songwriter and a capable storyteller but now that he turned full on country and the alternative edge has faded, the songs don't feel as natural or convincing anymore. There are a couple of bright spots on the album but in general I'm not as impressed as I had hoped to be.