Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Exclusive
Join our live viewing party of the 'This Is Us' season premiere.

This is Us

Tonight at 9PM ET

Article

Sticks and Stones

Posted on

Sticks & Stones

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
Cher Lloyd
genre:
Pop

We gave it a B

Twenty-three-year-old Tracy Lawrence made news in Nashville right after he finished the vocals for Sticks and Stones, his album debut: He was shot four times in a local motel parking lot by would-be robbers. The singer recuperated after surgery, but his record shows he’s a survivor in a different way, too. Yet another of the ubiquitous hat acts making traditional honky-tonk music, Lawrence is a standout in an already crowded field. Like Alan Jackson, whom he physically resembles, Lawrence pairs a poised and confident baritone with witty and well-crafted songs that shed soft light in the dark corners of the human condition. The sensitive ballad ”Between Us,” for example, suggests it’s better to rethink a romantic commitment than simply to walk away, while ”Sticks and Stones” explores the aftermath of a broken marriage. Lawrence has a tendency to lapse into a laconic Keith Whitley impersonation (”Hope Heaven Has a Honky Tonk”), and the program suffers slightly from the exclusion of a killer song. But an otherwise & strong repertoire and sparkling production make this one of the most memorable debuts of the year. A-