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It Would Be You

It Would Be You by Gary Allan
Released: May 1998
Allan's 1998 sophomore effort is a shiny set of a dozen radio-friendly tunes with enough Bakersfield-soaked honky-tonk peeking through to keep things interesting. Weepy, sentimental ballads abound on It Would Be You, but some of the foot-tappin' honky-tonk gems ("I've Got a Quarter in My Pocket" and "Red Lips, Blue Eyes, White Lies") here rank among Allan's most beloved. It is, however, the "hidden" track, "No Judgment Day," that gives It Would Be You the most legs. This track, recorded with Allan's trademark raspy twang and a lone acoustic guitar, tells the true tale of three young boys murdering a man for six dollars of beer money. It's a stunning, emotional tale that puts Allan in the spotlight with no glossy production, and ranks among this collection's best.
Linda Ryan