Tim McGraw Reveals His Perfect Storm

Songs That “Lock It Up” for Him

Some songs are all about the words. Others, the melody. But for Tim McGraw, he is all about the songs that have both.

Those don’t come along every day, but when they do, he records them.

“For me, the perfect combination — and what you strive to find as an artist — are those songs that have both of those things involved. It’s lyrically spot-on perfect, and the melody is something that just sings itself practically,” McGraw said of the rare songs that he’s come across in this 20-year career. (It’s actually been almost exactly 21 years since McGraw’s first Top 10 hit, “Indian Outlaw.”)


In a recent interview, McGraw admitted those perfect storms are hard to find because it’s usually more of an either/or situation.

“You don’t always find those. Sometimes they lean a little more this way or a little more that way,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate in my career to be able to find quite a few songs that they lock up like that.”

Then again, sometimes one element is so strong, the song stands on that alone.

“It has to hit you right away,” McGraw explained. “Melody’s a big thing for me, but it can go either way. Look, sometimes a song is so well written and the words are so beautiful, you really don’t care what the melody is. Conversely, sometimes a melody is so good that you don’t really care what the words say. It happens both ways.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.