Gary Allan, “Watching Airplanes”

Gary Allan, “Watching Airplanes”

Surprisingly boring and uneventful. I wouldn’t expect his new stuff to match the emotional intensity of Tough All Over, but he’s just phoning it in here. That said, Gary Allan phoning it in sounds better than most guys trying their best. He has such nuance to his voice that he could sing any mediocre song and sell it. This record proves just how true that is.

Grade: B-

Listen: Watching Airplanes

Buy: Watching Airplanes


  1. Love, Love Love, Gary Allan, but I agree he sounds like he is just phoning it in. I also feel like I have heard this song before. I don’t know, I think I will keep his greatest hits spinning for a while.

  2. I have to disagree. While I will also give the song a B-, I must say that “phoned in” is a very inaccurate discription. As Kevin said, this track may not be Gary at the level he was throughout “Tough All Over”, but let’s get realistic. “Tough All Over” dripped with the emotion and pain that was so real and so raw at that point in his life. Life is getting a bit better for him as of late. He’s opened up to the media about his wife’s story and done so in an effort to aid suicide prevention. He has a purpose and a new goal. So here we land at “Watching Airplanes.”

    Not a bad song, and a real taste of refreshment over the majority of the present top 40. One of the strongest releases in the past month is going to get beaten up a bit because Gary’s bar for himself is so high. This isn’t his strongest work, but is still damn good. Just not his best.

    I personally am anticipating the new album, slated for an early fall release, very much. Having seen Gary in concert, I can say that there are some killer tracks that will appear on the new release. I’m especially looking forward to “Like its a Bad Thing”. I think it has potential to shoot up the charts as a late summer power hit, if Gary decides to put it to radio. It has all the tools of his best stuff.

    Gary is still Gary, doing it his way, and making his own path in the world of sell-outs that rule the charts. And I hope, as I have for years, that at some point the music industry will take Gary for who and what he is, and realize the unique treasure his music is. We’ll hang in there and see.

  3. This song is great…where you get boring an uneventful is beyond me. Show me anything else out there that is as strong emotionally or melodically.

  4. Gary Allan could sing anything and sound 100% better than most of the singers today whether ist’s country or pop. His voice is just full of emotion and it’s unmistakeable- you know it’s Gary when you hear it- you can’t say that about many artists past or present. I saw him live this summer and he was awesome! I will be going to see him again in September. I’m counting the days and am anxiously awaiting his new album, also.

  5. Boring and uneventful is Brad Paisley releasing hit after hit that all sound the same and are nothing more than commical catchy songs…it is sad to see an artist as talented as Gary is not being recognized for his work because he doesn’t follow the pecking order….Gary Allans music is always emotional and raw and he could sing row row row your boat and still blow nashvilles best outta the water.

  6. Dusty, I fully agree with your assessment. Allan is one of my favorite male vocalists of all-time. This record is a disappointment, though. Sounds like something that would be filler on “It Would Be You” or “Used Heart For Sale.”

  7. A disappointment? Are we listening to the same song? I absolutely love it!! I agree with Dusty, Gary could put out and entire cd of children’s songs and i would but it! lol Gary is the most underrated male vocalist in music. (I think we can all agree on that!!) I Love this song and think it will be a hit for Gary for sure! If you haven’t heard this song live, just wait! You will fall in love with it, if you haven’t already!

  8. I’ve been a fan of Gary’s for years and I love everything he does, but this song doesn’t move me. It’s good, but it’s not great. But I agree with all the other comments. He’s underrated, overlooked, and can sing better than anyone else around. He’s the only artist whose work I buy the day it hits the store.

  9. I love this song. But I think you have to have some background on Gary Allan to appreciate it fully. He met his second wife on an airplane, she was a flight attendant. And three years ago she committed suicide.

  10. I’m going to have to agree with Kevin’s assessment here. I will admit, though, that it took me awhile to become the gary fan that I am today. His “Tough All Over” CD captured my attention and caused me to go out and buy all of his albums and I was super excited about my “new” discovery. I did not love this song though.

  11. I love this song! It has a very unique melody. It may not have the same emotional intensity as the songs from Tough All Over, but there is still emotion here, especially in the last run of the chorus. Lyrically, I’ve seen better, but it’s not bad.

  12. I like Gary Allan a lot, and his vocals are great, but this isn’t near his best work. I agree with the review but this isn’t really bad I just hope this song will get him in the spotlight because he is one of the most underrated singers now-a-days.

  13. hi kevin,

    ever thought that the drums in this song sound like the noise of fists hitting on the hood of the truck, the guitars cry like these jet engines cutting off slices of your heart and all you can do is shouting out your heartache against all that noise.

    when, like in that situation, there can’t be anything done anymore to stop her from leaving, it’s rather pointless trying to be creative.

    what a straightforward and captivating musical interpretation of desperation and heartache from gary allen. B- is too hard a verdict.

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