Tim McGraw – Standing Room Only

Tim McGraw - Standing Room Only



3.9/5 Pros

  • Solid Tim McGraw songs
  • Some really nice ones Cons

  • Overall, I expect a TMcG one to be better

New songs from Tim McGraw: after I reviewed his Here on Earth in 2020, the US-American country music giant is back with a new set of songs. On 25th August 2023, he is releasing Standing Room Only. I had the opportunity to have a listen before publication and share my thoughts with you.


Tim McGraw – About The Artist

Fifteen studio albums so far (Standing Room Only is #16), three Grammy Awards, 11 CMA Awards and having done the highest-grossing tour in the history of country music so far – it is hard to argue against that Tim McGraw is a country music legend. Born as Samuel Timothy McGraw on 1st May 1967 in Start, Louisiana, he is one of the few global country music stars. You find some more bio in the Here on Earth review. After that album release, he had two EP releases in 2022, which have rather been compilation / best of ones.


Tim McGraw – Standing Room Only – Track by Track

The fourteen song album lasts 54 minutes.

1. Hold On To It

Love only hurts when you lose it
It can disappear in a big ol’ cloud of smoke
If you don’t hold on to it

The album opens with a typical Tim McGraw song. A good write, a good vibe, a nice balance of typical country music instruments. You enjoy listening to it – but I also have to say, that it is not a song which is close to his best ones. You just expect this little extra when you listen to artists like him.

2. Standing Room Only

The title track of the album has been the most successful single release of the album so far. Standing Room Only is a very nice, well-performed song – but the stats also tell a story: roughly 16 million Spotify streams so far – that’s more then ten times less than his most successful tracks. Just too much of a gap. Such a shame.

3. Paper Umbrellas

It’s gonna take a lotta pina coladas
If you’re gonna drink him off your mind
I’ll sit here a little longer
And get us somethin’ stronger
Somethin’ that’ll work in half the time
‘Cause when love don’t shine like you thought it would
Ain’t nothin’ quite like good tequila straight
To chase the clouds away
Yeah girl I’m here to tell ya paper umbrellas
Look good on top but they won’t stop the rain

The howling steel guitar and the vocal style leads to a more traditional country music touch at Paper Umbrellas. But it is exactly that vibe and the very personal, narrative style of the storytelling, which turns this third track into a very enjoyable track to me.

4. Remember Me Well

Two single releases in a row – the fourth track of Standing Room Only is Remember Me Well. I personally like this July 2021 publication more than the other songs Tim McGraw shared with his fans beforehand. Especially the chorus spreads a little bit of that magic that made him such a successful artist.

5. Hey Whiskey

A ballad dedicated to a rather spirituous drink – that’s as stereotypical as country music can be, ain’t it? Sounds a bit too harsh, as I feel that this song is a nice write. It also feels to do this country music-and-whiskey thing from another perspective.

6. Her

The album continues with a rather slow and emotional song. However, Tim McGraw switches from alcohol to his wife Faith Hill. The song comes with a nice message.

Sometimes I wish that I could be a little less like me
A little more like he

The song feels nice while listening. Unfortunately, the half-life period of this song staying in my mind is just a bit too short.

7. Fool Me Again

Fool Me Again is a break-up track with a swaying-style vibe. It is one of these songs, which spreads magic, makes me smile. Definitely not a powerful party smasher, but it creates a really nice moment on this album.

Until you fool me again
I’m gonna let you
Walk right back into my life for one night and re-wreck it
Guess who’s still hooked on this stool
Playin’ them sad songs and playin’ your fool
Me again

8. Small Town King

Country music and small town songs are a delicate topic nowadays. However, Start in Louisiana nowadays counts some 1,000 inhabitants, so that Tim McGraw definitely qualifies for a potential Small Town King. The song is even one of the most royal ones of the album. It comes with a nice balance of rather quiet and modern, rocking sections.

9. Beautiful Hurricane

I loved your sky
And I loved your name
I loved your sun
And I loved your rain
My beautiful hurricane

Some more love in here. But Tim McGraw does it in a nice way. Not sure if my wife wanted to be named being a Beautiful Hurricane, but I personally like the metaphor.

10. Cowboy Junkie

The Cowboy Junkie is another song which is likely being praised by more traditional country music fans. A straight song, well-balanced, which comes with a nice drive from the rhythmic side. Definitely one of the best songs of the album.

11. Nashville CA/L.A. Tennessee (feat. Lori McKenna)

I rather recently reviewed the album 1988 by Lori McKenna. Now she is back on as a guest musician. I really like the lyrics (despite that I could not find a place called Los Angeles in Tennessee – there is a Nashville in California, though), the atmosphere of the song is nice, but not more. By the way, this is the only song which named McGraw as a songwriter on the whole album.

12. Some Songs Change Your World

Who wouldn’t disagree to that title that Some Songs Change Your World – my Songs of my Life illustrate that somehow as well. That’s not the only reason, why I can relate to this song really quite much. These kind of songs just seem to work out very well for Tim McGraw in 2023. Great work on the instrumental side, by the way.

13. Letter From Heaven

Apart from their duet before, Lori McKenna appears in this song as a songwriter as well. And, to make it short, this somehow final track before the acoustic add-on is one of the most beautiful listens of the album. I somehow feel relieved that Tim McGraw finishes Standing Room Only in great style.

Today I got a letter from Heaven
Cleanin’ out my mamaw’s house
I just smiled while I read it
I swear I heard her voice out loud
She said I love you, God is real
And now I get it
Today I got a letter from Heaven

14. Standing Room Only (Acoustic)

The album is closing with the acoustic version of the title track. Like the “full” version, this interpretation of Standing Room Only has been released before the album. I like the more personal touch of this track, even though I feel that the vocals lack some energy and atmosphere.


Tim McGraw – Standing Room Only – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Tim McGraw – Standing Room Only – Track by Track

I did have some trouble with Here and There – and unfortunately I have to say that Standing Room Only comes with ups and downs to me as well. Luckily, the downs are not too deep, just  lower than I would expect from a Tim McGraw album. There are not too many high ups as well. It’s a Tim McGraw – which means, it cannot be too bad. But I would love it to be better.

Favorite Song: Small Town King


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