Gary Allan has reason to be giddy these days.
Two weeks before his ninth studio album "Set You Free" hits records stores, he already was celebrating a career milestone with the album's first single "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)": a gold record (sales of more than 500,000).
"It's at 650,000 now," Allan said during a phone call last week. "It's way crazy. It got 120,000 downloads last week."
It is the fastest selling single of his career and the fastest chart climber; "Storm" was at No. 5 on Billboard this week.
"I think the song is delivering. It's a great song about hope, and it's timely," he said.
And it was a long time coming. Allan had sat on the album for months before he gave it to the label in early 2012, not long after new label boss Mike Dungan took over Universal Music Nashville. Allan was determined not to give the record to Dungan's predecessor whom he felt ignored his 2010 album "Get Off On the Pain."
"Pain" was arguably one of Allan's most depressing albums in his 17-year career. The record followed his wife's 2004 suicide and dealt with the heavy burdens of guilt and loss.
"Set You Free" turns the corner as Allan's most optimistic album.
"I love the down stuff, so when I went through all that, I loved to write about it," Allan said.
Throughout "Set You Free" are uplifting nods, from the over-it opening track "Tough Goodbye" to the honky-tonker "Bones." There are sultry invitations in "Drop," and ukulele toe-tapping with "No Worries.
"Storm" starts out as a pity-party invitation before delivering a gut-punch of reality: "Go find a new rose / Don't be afraid of the thorns / 'Cause we all have thorns."
"This album is so much more personal than anything else I've done," said Allan, 45, who co-produced the album with Jay Joyce, Greg Droman and Mark Wright and had his band play on the record.
"I'm in a really good place right now; I'm not down at all about that (his wife's suicide) anymore. I mean, it's always going to be there; it's like a scar. But I think I am in a good place. I think time and age - all that plays a factor. I'm just really happy to be back on the radio. It feels great."
If you Go
• What: Gary Allan in concert.
• When: 8:30 p.m Friday.
• Where: Martini Ranch, 7295 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale.
• Tickets: Free through KNIX 102.5 FM in Phoenix(www.knixcountry.com), which is giving them away daily at 7:40 and 10:40 a.m. and at 1:40 and 4:40 p.m.
• New album: Allan's new album, "Set You Free," comes out Tuesday.