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Tim McGraw’s ‘Emotional Traffic’ Finally Has Release Date

Tim McGraw fans, the long wait is almost over! The country superstar’s new album, ‘Emotional Traffic,’ will hit stores January 17, 2012.

Well, maybe we shouldn’t use the word ‘new.’ Tim turned the finished project in to his former record label, Curb Records, in the early fall of 2010. The album’s first single, ‘Felt Good on My Lips,’ was released shortly after, but its second single, ‘Better Than I Used to Be,’ was sent to radio just this week — almost a year later.

The timing of the new single and announcement of the album’s release date is certainly no coincidence, as Tim won a court battle against Curb Records on Wednesday (Nov. 30). The singer’s victory means that he is now free to record under a new label. ‘Emotional Traffic’ will be the final album Tim releases via Curb.

“The label is holding the album hostage from country music fans in an attempt to force Tim McGraw to serve perpetually under a contract that he has already fully and faithfully completed,” said a rep for the singer earlier this year.

Now that Tim has been relieved of his contractual obligations to Curb, fans just have a few more weeks until they can hear the album he calls “an eclectic group of songs.” ‘Emotional Traffic’ is said to include collaborations with Faith Hill, R&B star Ne-Yo and keyboardist Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers).

“It’s one of those records that you want to put earphones and just turn it up and really listen to every part of the record,” Tim tells Billboard. “It’s more of a groove, feel-good album than we’ve done in awhile. It’s got a lot of depth to it sonically and musically. It’s just a really cool-sounding record to me. It’s one of my favorite records I’ve ever done.”

Tim must face Curb Records in court again in July 2012. The next hearing will determine whether or not the singer was in breech of his label contract for turning in ‘Emotional Traffic’ earlier than he was supposed to. Curb maintains that the superstar’s contract stipulates each new album must be recorded “no earlier than 12 months and no later than 18 months” following the release of the previous album. In this case, that would be Tim’s ‘Southern Voice,’ which was released in October 2009.

Tim will hit the road next year with longtime pal Kenny Chesney on the Brothers of the Sun tour. The 19-city trek will kick off on June 2 in Tampa, Fla. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Dec. 3, and can be purchased here.

Watch ‘Tim McGraw Uncut’

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