Single Review: Gary Allan, “Get Off On The Pain”

When a song could double as a compilation title for the artist in question, it’s hard not to go in with clear expectations before you even hear it.  Eye-catching title aside, this is not new territory for Gary Allan. If anything, it’s his most charted territory.

So you get what you expect here.  A wailing vocal with some ragged trimming, driving electrical guitars, and a lyric about being despondent but digging it.

It’s a solid record, I suppose, but when you’re revisiting territory that has been covered before with songs as nakedly vulnerable as “Putting My Misery On Display” or as cleverly written as “Songs About Rain”, it’s hard to muster up enthusiasm for this.  It’s not so much an artistic disappointment as it is a holding pattern.  Next, please.

Grade: B

Listen: Get Off On The Pain


  1. This is a decent enough song and I do like Gary Allan’s vocals but I think his schtick is getting old. I do think Gary’s gimmickery is a bit more sincere than most artists, but sincerity and authneticity hardly make up for blandness in my book. This is just a rehash of his previous material. I’d probably enjoy this if he released it in 2003 but I I guess I feel that Gary Allan hasn’t really been offering me anything new since 2006 or so. I do own 4 Gary Allan albums, so I’m a fan. But I fell off after the “Tough All Over” album (which was great) because I think Gary has just been coasting musically for the last 4 years or so.

    I know some critics are gonna fawn all over this song but I think its in the B range. Good but not great.

  2. I don’t think this is Gary’s “schtick”-this is his life. I think he sings from his heart and what is happening in his own life-it is sincere and honest and that is what is so appealing to me–he lets the listener inside and doesn’t just sing what might be “popular” on the radio.
    I love this single, and love the song even more live.

  3. I so agree with Joy. Gary does sing and writes from his heart. I love that about him. This song was a great choice for spring/summer release! It’s so totally awesome live!!

  4. I agree with Joy. When Gary sings and writes a song he shares a part of himself with all of us and as fans and listeners we are so blessed to be able to share that with him. He bares his heart and soul in every word on every track. The fact that he sings what he lives and he does his own thing and not to the expectations of others is one of the things I admire about him as an artist….not to mention that he has vocals that are second to none. I love Get Off on the Pain as a single and can not wait for the cd to hit the stores.

  5. This song is fabulous live! Gary is as real as it gets, no “schtick”. I’m looking forward to the new cd and to hearing this single climb the charts!!

  6. Apparently, you must also not have enjoyed most of the music from the 50s and 60s era, when artists kept releasing similiar sounding songs that actually did well on the radio. Some may call this a recipe for success. Last time i checked, Gary Allan sings his music and plays it live, for himself, not for the fame.

    Get Off On The Pain plays well live. Maybe when you see him live this summer, you should check it out. He opens with this song and the crowd is at their feet. That speaks volumes.

  7. I don’t care whether Gary Allan is motivated to play music for himself or for fame (and none of us know his true motivation, anyhow), and if “Gary is as real as it gets, no “shtick,” then fine. If this is “his life” and not shtick, again, that’s fine. In that case, I think stories about his life are getting old – its the same old same old with him since 1996.

    Again, I bought Allan’s first three albums, fell off the train, then bought “Tough All Over,” and fell off the Allan bandwagon again.

    I have 4 Gary Allan albums. None of this recent singles in anyway suggest to me any reason to buy more. 4 is enough.

  8. many things done by people like the famous, as we know the singers like a versatile person. but if it leads to great entertainment, no problem. for me that is not too fond of the song, the singer who brought the song was to be decisive.

  9. For you Gary fans out there, (and I am definitely one of them) keep in mind the reviewer gave this song a “B” and not an “F”. No need to get defensive – “B” music is much better than the norm on country radio these days.

    As an album, I just couldn’t get into this one as much as his previous two, although I was a big fan of this track leading off the set. I think this particular song is a great showcase of Gary’s voice and, while some of the themes are certainly repeating themselves in Gary’s music, he hasn’t made a habit out of releasing his MOST somber songs to radio. This is a song with a similar theme as many of his recent tracks, but it has an edge that has been lacking on country radio lately, so I turn it up each time it comes on a local station.

    Yet, it still won’t likely hit the top 15 of the charts because of that – it’s different enough from what is “popular” and a touch too similar to a few of his previous singles. I think the biggest mistake he made was releasing “Today” as the first single – should have been “Kiss Me When I’m Down”, would have been a major hit with the ladies (and still might be should his label release a third song).

    I’m rambling now, so I’ll just shut up, but I would have given this one an A-/B+, so I can’t argue all that much with the review.

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