Smoke Rings in the Dark

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Imagine Chris Isaak gone country, with the twanging guitars and moody ambiance intact, and you get close to where Gary Allan's coming from on his third album, SMOKE RINGS IN THE DARK. That's not a criticism -- Allan's songs aren't by the usual Nashville tunesmiths, and his sound isn't the typical commercial mainstream; rather, he stakes out a turf that embraces hard country, with traces of contemporary country production flourishes cropping up here and there. Allan's subject matter is the man alone -- loving, losing, and persevering against the elements as he tries to make an honest stand. "Smoke Rings In the Dark" is an acutely well-observed account of a man going ...
See more details below
CD
$10.82
BN.com price
(Save 1%)$10.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (16) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $5.70   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Imagine Chris Isaak gone country, with the twanging guitars and moody ambiance intact, and you get close to where Gary Allan's coming from on his third album, SMOKE RINGS IN THE DARK. That's not a criticism -- Allan's songs aren't by the usual Nashville tunesmiths, and his sound isn't the typical commercial mainstream; rather, he stakes out a turf that embraces hard country, with traces of contemporary country production flourishes cropping up here and there. Allan's subject matter is the man alone -- loving, losing, and persevering against the elements as he tries to make an honest stand. "Smoke Rings In the Dark" is an acutely well-observed account of a man going gently into that good night at the end of an ill-fated affair. "Don't Tell Mama" might be a broadside aimed at drunk drivers, but it's also a classic country song of whiskey, mama, and steel guitar. Kevin Welch's bittersweet recollection of doomed affair, "Cryin' For Nothin'," gets a steely edge thanks to the fire in Allan's expressive baritone. In a real acid test, Allan transforms Del Shannon's "Runaway" into a barn burner with a honky-tonk edge. Allan sounds a little bit like Tim McGraw, a little bit like Clint Black, and a whole lot like an artist who's in it for the long haul.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Gary Allan grows better and more assured with each album, and his third record, Smoke Rings in the Dark, is his best effort yet. Similar to the Mavericks, Allan stylishly blends a number of roots styles, from his signature Bakersfield country to dusty folk and pop crooning, into a neo-traditionalist sound that is curiously out of time. Allan is considerably more mainstream than the Mavericks, which means that the production is more polished and he doesn't really take musical risks. Even if he doesn't quite hold his own against some Americana artists, he certainly is stronger than many contemporary country artists, especially since he tries many different styles and sounds throughout Smoke Rings in the Dark. Not every song works, but even those that don't have still something recommendable in their performance or production. It's a fine album from an artist that keeps getting better.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/1999
  • Label: Mca Nashville
  • UPC: 008817010120
  • Catalog Number: 170101
  • Sales rank: 36,390

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gary Allan Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Vocals
Steve Gibson Electric Guitar
Marilyn Martin Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
David Campbell Conductor
Chad Cromwell Drums
Dan Dugmore Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
Randy Hardison Background Vocals
Steve Nathan Piano, Keyboards
Michael Rhodes Bass
Brent Rowan Electric Guitar
Hank Singer Fiddle
Lisa Silver Background Vocals
Harry Stinson Background Vocals
Bergen White Background Vocals
John Willis Acoustic Guitar
Curtis Young Background Vocals
Christy Cornelius Background Vocals
Lisa Cochran Background Vocals
Wynn Varble Background Vocals
Brice Long Background Vocals
Jake Kelly Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Tony Brown Producer
Robert Charles Engineer
Greg Droman Engineer
The Nashville String Machine Contributor
Mark Wright Producer
Byron Hill Contributor
Hank Williams Mastering
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Giving an Edge to Country

    'Smoke Rings in the Dark' was the first country song I ever truly liked. Gary Allan has grit to his voice, and sings with haunting pain. You really get the impression that he's feeling every lyric that comes out of his mouth. Really an awesome CD. He's edgy and a little dark, a wonderful combination.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic

    Don't get all the references to Chris Isaak (Allan's voice is much grittier) but this is one awesome CD. There's not a bad song on it. One of the best country albums I've ever bought and probably will ever buy. Not just a couple of hits off the radio, ALL good songs. I regret not getting any more of Gary Allan's work, but maybe in the future

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of my absolute favorites

    I hadn't really paid attention to Gary's songs before hearing the singles from "Alright Guy", but when I was looking for that CD the store was sold out so I picked up "Smoke Rings in the Dark" and have absolutely fallen in love with the songs. I particularly like "Lovin' You Against My Will" and the title track, and "Sorry" and "Runaway" are so fun to sing to. Honestly, all the songs are just great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best

    I think that this cd was one of the best I've heard in a long time.I'm not realy a big country music fan but there's just something about his music that I fell in love with.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a great CD

    Every song on this CD is a heart-tugger. I enjoyed all the songs, Gary Allan is the most underrated country singer. His voice sends shivers up and down my spine. I never get tired of listeing him to sing. A must have CD for Gary Allan die-hard fans. Go and get his other previous CD's. You will not be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best

    This has to be the best CD I own. Every song is outstanding and Gary's voice is amazing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ''Dark'' Release Allan's Best

    After struggling to find his own identity on his first two albums, Gary Allan finally hits the jackpot on his third offering, ''Smoke Rings in the Dark''. Though he's still mainly a cover-singer, this release shows a mature intensity that is entirely Allan's own. From the gorgeous Chris Isaak influenced title track to the beautifully rendered ''Loving You Against My Will'', ''Dark'' promises to become a country classic- it is a genre triumph.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Country at it's best !

    This album was one of the best country albums made.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of the few c.d's where every song is great

    We were pleasantly surprised to find that we enjoy every single song on this c.d. How refreshing to not have to put up with songs just to hear the one you like.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews