Sticks and Stones (2012) 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… 2012-10-23 Cher Lloyd Pop Epic
Music Review

Sticks and Stones (2012)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Oct 23, 2012; Lead Performance: Cher Lloyd; Genre: Pop; Production: Epic

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-

Originally posted Dec 13, 1991 Published in issue #96 Dec 13, 1991 Order article reprints