Two Lanes of Freedom

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Two Lanes of Freedom
Studio album by Tim McGraw
Released February 5, 2013 (2013-02-05)
Genre Country
Length 45:50
Label Big Machine
Producer Byron Gallimore
Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw chronology
Tim McGraw & Friends
Two Lanes of Freedom
Sundown Heaven Town
Singles from Two Lanes of Freedom
  1. "Truck Yeah"
    Released: July 3, 2012
  2. "One of Those Nights"
    Released: November 12, 2012
  3. "Highway Don't Care"
    Released: March 25, 2013
  4. "Southern Girl"
    Released: July 8, 2013

Two Lanes of Freedom is the 12th studio album by American country music artist Tim McGraw. It was released February 5, 2013, as his first album for Big Machine Records following a 20-year tenure with Curb Records. He co-produced the album with Byron Gallimore, producer of his previously released albums.[1] The album includes the singles "Truck Yeah", "One of Those Nights", "Highway Don't Care", and "Southern Girl".[2]


McGraw talked to The Boot writer Beville Dunkerley about the lawsuit that allowed him to end his decades-long contract with Curb Records and the making of the album:[3]

Nothing good happens from anything without concentrating on what you do musically,...All this other stuff you can't do anything about...You can't make people do the things that you think are right, but you can make your music the way you want to make your music and that's what I concentrate on.

—Tim McGraw, [3]

In addition, McGraw discussed his "mindset" behind the album:[3]

There's something special about this record to me, in the optimism that it has,...I'm looking forward to more stuff than I've ever had happen before; there's more ahead of me than behind me. I feel like I've grabbed another gear.

—Tim McGraw, [3]

In conclusion, McGraw added what he sees in his future as a music artist:[3]

I don't think I'm anywhere close to doing the things I want to do. There's so much more ahead of me, and I have a lot of room to get better...Sonically, there's a freshness to this record and a drive behind it that is new to me and headed in a different place. But I won't know that until I go into the studio for the next record and see where it takes me.

—Tim McGraw, [3]



Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (66/100)[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
American Songwriter 3.5/5 stars[6]
Country Universe 2.5/5 stars[7]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[8]
The Oakland Press 3/4 stars[9]
Omaha World-Herald 2/4 stars[10]
PopMatters 5/10 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[12]
Roughstock 4/5 stars[13]
Taste of Country 4/5 stars[14]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[15]

Upon its release, Two Lanes of Freedom received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[4] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66, based on 9 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[4] The album has garnered positive reviews from the following publications: AllMusic, American Songwriter, Country Weekly, The Lantern The Plain Dealer, Roughstock, Taste of Country, and the USA Today. On the other hand, the album received mixed reviews from the following publications: Country Universe, Los Angeles Times, Omaha World-Herald, PopMatters, and Rolling Stone.

Individual reviews[edit]

Reviews from industry music critics include the following:

  • Thom Jurek of AllMusic highlighted that "Tim McGraw emerges, relaxed and refreshed with Two Lanes of Freedom".[5] Moreover, Jurek called it an "ambitious recording", and evoked how "On Two Lanes of Freedom, McGraw proves he is indeed the artist that Curb never let him be."[5]
  • Jonathan Bernstein of American Songwriter illustrated how the "album fueled by its interplay of small stories and booming anthems".[6] Bernstein cautioned in noting "That's the very struggle Mcgraw [sic] faces, as the singer spends Two Lanes of Freedom deciding whether to use his own stardom as license to rest on his Music City laurels or to ride free of expectations and challenge himself and his audience. For now, he seems happy questioning his decision to stay close to home without ever trying very hard to leave town."[6]
  • Country Weekly's Jon Freeman, who graded the album a (B+) release, and vowed that "Two Lanes of Freedom benefits from gorgeous, lush production with intriguing little instrumental flourishes. Songs build and form around revolving guitar or piano figures, the layers piling on until each track reaches epic proportions."[16] Also, Freeman commented that "The title seems to be a subtle nod to his legal struggles, but it also points to a creative sort of liberty where you just enjoy the adventure."[16]
  • Caitlin Essig of The Lantern, who graded the album to be an (A-) effort, and she wrote that McGraw "is flying free" on the album.[17] Essig highlighted that "'Two Lanes of Freedom' showcases McGraw in his prime, proving the 45-year-old can still shine among fresher faces".[17] Chuck Yarborough of The Plain Dealer, who graded the album a (B-) album, and wrote that the album is "Maybe even a little too slick."[18]
  • Matt Bjorke of Roughstock exclaimed that "After listening to the record, it's easy to see why Curb Records fought so hard to keep Tim McGraw on their label. Two Lanes Of Freedom is a vibrant, satisfying record with a nice mixture of uptempo tracks (Top 10 hit "Truck Yeah"), emotional reflective ballads ("Friend of A Friend," "Annie I Owe You This Dance"), strong radio-ready tracks ("Southern Girl," "Book of John," "Mexicoma") and stunning story songs ("Nashville Was You," "Number 37405"). There's not really any missteps on the album and it's more representative of McGraw's whole career from Not A Moment Too Soon to Emotional Traffic."[13] Furthermore, Bjorke wrote that the "Accelerated Deluxe Edition, a collection we'd suggest as the better get for it truly represents Tim McGraw's true artistic vision for Two Lanes Of Freedom with tracks arranged throughout the album and not just tacked onto the end of the recording."[13]
  • Taste of Country's Billy Dukes noted that "optimism" is the word Tim McGraw uses to describe his new album, Two Lanes of Freedom, and despite a garnish of somber ballads and hopeless love stories, the singer is dead on. The project’s production creates the buoyant mood that carries each of the 15 songs on the accelerated deluxe version. In fact, one’s opinion of 'Two Lanes of Freedom' may rest on production decisions made by McGraw and Byron Gallimore."[14] Also, Dukes called "'Two Lanes of Freedom,' McGraw's finest album since 'Let It Go.'"[14]
  • Jerry Shriver of USA Today wrote that "The hardest trick for a country-music singer is to explore the genre's well-worn emotional templates — the small-town bust-out, the big-time breakup, the prisoner's regret, the throat-clutching rummage through a deceased parent's memorabilia — and have your voice still ring fresh and true."[15] To this, Shriver proclaimed that "A rejuvenated Tim McGraw pulls that off on a majority of the 11 tracks on his new Two Lanes of Freedom".[15]
  • At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff noted that "even the more mournful ballads, have a liberated, wind-at-his-back kind of spirit", and he found that "McGraw rides off into the sunset a winner here, proving his 'Freedom' was well worth the fight."[9]
  • Ben Foster of Country Universe rated the album two-and-a-half-stars-out-of-five, commented that "At its best, Two Lanes of Freedom offers sporadic glimpses of the subtlety and sincerity that marked McGraw’s best work. But even when McGraw brings the goods as a vocalist, the quality of the song material often comes up frustratingly short."[7] Further, Foster concluded with "Though Two Lanes of Freedom has its moments that are genuinely not half bad, the unevenness of the project as a whole offers little reason to believe that the Tim McGraw who gave us Everywhere, Set This Circus Down, and Live Like You Were Dying is likely to fully resurface anytime soon – and even if Tim McGraw were to make a return to form, it’s highly unlikely that Scott Borchetta would be the one to facilitate it."[7]
  • August Brown of the Los Angeles Times commented how "The record is brawnier than most of McGraw's catalog", yet "The album should keep him atop the country commercial firmament, but doesn't really advance him as an artist."[8] Next, Brown wrote that "it's a shame he didn't take the musical chances that can also mark a new beginning."[8]
  • Kevin Coffey of the Omaha World-Herald vowed that "'Two Lanes of Freedom' is another album full of three chords and the truth: a bunch of good tunes about good times. McGraw’s mentions of romance and fun are just vague enough to bring about nostalgia from every listener. It’s a fun record."[10] On the other hand, Coffey found that "there's not a lot of substance here. These songs aren't going to change your life. You'll still want to play them the next time you hit the highway, hit the bar or, wake up with a hangover in Mexico."[10]
  • PopMatters' Steve Leftridge found that "Two Lanes is all over the road, bringing the Mick Mars guitars, pop-synth hooks, quadruple-tracked choruses, a Lil Wayne reference, and, yes, an Auto-Tuned vocal bit."[11] Leftridge surmised that "Two Lanes, as it turns out, is far better than you’d expect from a midlife crisis album from an artist nakedly attempting to sound young and up-to-the-minute."[11] Conversely, Leftrigde criticized that "Overall, Two Lanes of Freedom is uneven but likeable, just like most Tim McGraw records. However, if Tim wants to embrace artistic freedom and stay relevant, he would be better served playing more authentically to his strengths."[11]
  • Music critic Chuck Eddy of Rolling Stone magazine commented that "McGraw seems determined to reel in young folks. But as usual, he fares better as a relaxed 40-something".[12]


Two Lanes of Freedom sold about 107,000 copies during its first week of release, landing at number one on the country albums chart and number two on the Billboard 200.[19] As of September 18, 2013, the album has sold 421,000 copies.[20]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Track listing
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Two Lanes of Freedom"   Jaren Johnston, Jenn Schott 4:26
2. "One of Those Nights"   Luke Laird, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins 3:56
3. "Friend of a Friend" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Andrew Dorff 5:13
4. "Southern Girl"   Johnston, Clawson, Lee Thomas Miller 4:15
5. "Truck Yeah"   Chris Janson, Danny Myrick, Preston Brust, Chris Lucas 3:29
6. "Nashville Without You"   Kyle Jacobs, Joe Leathers, Ruston Kelly 3:37
7. "Book of John"   Jon Nite, Greg Becker 3:28
8. "Mexicoma" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) James T. Slater, Brad Warren, Brett Warren 3:33
9. "Number 37405" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) Tom Douglas, Troy Jones 4:45
10. "It's Your World"   Scott Stepakoff, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally 4:29
11. "Highway Don't Care" (feat. Taylor Swift & Keith Urban) Irwin, Kear, Brad Warren, Brett Warren 4:39
Total length:
Accelerated Deluxe Version Track listing
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Two Lanes of Freedom"   Jaren Johnston, Jenn Schott 4:26
2. "One of Those Nights"   Luke Laird, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins 3:56
3. "Friend of a Friend"   Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Andrew Dorff 5:13
4. "Southern Girl"   Johnston, Clawson, Lee Thomas Miller 4:15
5. "Truck Yeah"   Chris Janson, Danny Myrick, Preston Brust, Chris Lucas 3:29
6. "Nashville Without You"   Kyle Jacobs, Joe Leathers, Ruston Kelly 3:37
7. "Book of John"   Jon Nite, Greg Becker 3:28
8. "Annie I Owe You a Dance" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) James T. Slater, Tom Douglas 3:44
9. "Mexicoma"   Slater, Brad Warren, Brett Warren 3:33
10. "Number 37405"   Douglas, Troy Jones 4:45
11. "It's Your World"   Scott Stepakoff, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally 4:29
12. "Tinted Windows" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) Irwin, Kear, Dorff 4:13
13. "Highway Don't Care" (feat. Taylor Swift & Keith Urban) Irwin, Kear, Brad Warren, Brett Warren 4:39
14. "Truck Yeah" (live) Janson, Myrick, Brust, Lucas 4:16
15. "Let Me Love It Out of You"   Rachel Thibodeau, Jason Sever, David Tolliver 5:34
Total length:

Chart performance[edit]


Chart (2013) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 10
Canadian Albums Chart 4
China Album Chart[22] 18
US Billboard 200 2[23]
US Billboard Top Country Albums 1[23]
US Billboard Top Digital Albums 1[23]
UK Albums Chart[24] 43
UK Country Albums (OCC)[25] 5


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country US Country Airplay US CAN Country
2012 "Truck Yeah" 11 10 57 52
"One of Those Nights" 3 1 32 1 38
2013 "Highway Don't Care" 4 1 22 2 21
"Southern Girl" 4 2 42 1 61
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Preceded by
Set You Free by Gary Allan
Top Country Albums number-one album
February 23, 2013
Succeeded by
Red by Taylor Swift


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold


  1. ^ Wyland, Sarah (October 31, 2012). "Tim McGraw Will Release Two Lanes of Freedom February 5, 2013". Great American Country. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Two Lanes of Freedom track listing". Roughstock. December 13, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dunkerley, Beville (February 5, 2013). "Tim McGraw, 'Two Lanes of Freedom' Drives Legendary Career Into Fresh Territory (Exclusive Interview)". The Boot. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Two Lanes of Freedom, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom (February 5, 2013). "Two Lanes of Freedom - Tim McGraw : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Bernstein, Jonathan (February 5, 2013). "Tim McGraw: Two Lanes of Freedom". American Songwriter. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Foster, Ben (February 15, 2013). "Album Review: Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom". Country Universe. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Brown, August (February 5, 2013). "Album review: Tim McGraw 'Two Lanes of Freedom'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Graff, Gary (February 1, 2013). "Listening Room: Tim McGraw sets off into the sunset on trip of "Freedom"". The Oakland Press. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Coffey, Kevin (February 15, 2013). "Album Review: Tim McGraw, 'Two Lanes of Freedom'". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d Leftridge, Steve (February 27, 2013). "Tim McGraw: Two Lanes of Freedom". PopMatters. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (February 13, 2013). "Tim McGraw: Two Lanes of Freedom (Big Machine)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Bjorke, Matt (February 6, 2013). "Album Review: Tim McGraw - Two Lanes of Freedom". Roughstock. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c Dukes, Billy (February 8, 2013). "Tim McGraw, 'Two Lanes of Freedom' – Album Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Shriver, Jerry (February 4, 2013). "Tim McGraw's 'Two Lanes' finds a new country route". USA Today. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Freeman, Jon (February 5, 2013). "Two Lanes of Freedom by Tim McGraw". Country Weekly. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Essig, Caitlin (February 5, 2013). "Album review: Tim McGraw breathes new life into positive tracks in 'Two Lanes of Freedom'". The Lantern. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ Yarborough, Chuck (February 16, 2013). "Tim McGraw drives over to a new label with 'Two Lanes of Freedom' (CD review)". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Tim McGraw's 'Two Lanes' Speeds to No. 1 On Top Country Albums". Billboard. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ Matt Bjorke (July 31, 2013). "Country Album Chart News: The Week of September 18, 2013: Keith Urban Lights Fuse, Debuts at #1; Sheryl Crow at "Home" at #3". Roughstock. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Tim McGraw – Two Lanes Of Freedom". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  22. ^ "综合榜 2014年 第18周" (in Chinese). Retrieved 6-5-2014. 
  23. ^ a b c "Tim McGraw’s ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’ Debuts at No. 1". Taste of Country. February 15, 2013. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100 - 23rd March 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  25. ^ "2013-06-15 Top 40 Country Albums Archive | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company.
  26. ^ "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Canada Country". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Tim McGraw – Two Lanes of Freedom". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]