Two years after their last release, the Georgia Zac Brown Band is back in the record stores with their new album The Owl, which was released on 20th September 2019. Here are my thoughts.
Zac Brown Band – About The Artist
Zachary Alexander (“Zac”) Brown is the head of the Zac Brown Band, which has been found in 2002 in Atlanta, GA. One of the first songs the band wrote was Chicken Fried, which is one of their greatest hits. Though it did not attract too much attention in 2003, when it was initially written, its re-recording of 2008 even got a Grammy nomination and was also on the list for the Single Of The Year as well as the Song Of The Year at the 2009 CMA Awards – needless to say that the song also topped the US Country and the US Country Airplay charts. Two more singles of the The Foundation album, Toes and Highway 20 Ride made it to the top of these charts as well. The early 2010s were the peak success time of the band, the following five singles topped the Country charts and the country airplays as well. Nevertheless, on the album side, all albums released in this decade topped the US country charts. The last one was the 2017 Welcome Home.
Zac Brown Band – The Owl – Track by Track
The Owl features eleven songs with a total duration of 37 minutes.
1. The Woods
If you have the country classics in mind the Zac Brown Band has produced, The Woods is a shocker. Is that country? Likely not. A very rhythmic track, even with a touch of hip hop and a lot of pop music in it. Still somehow catchy.
2. Need This
Also at Need This, you need to dig deeper into the rhythmic sounds to find the country roots. It’s a very own sound to me, but I still feel confused.
Hell, yeah, I’m on the plane, yeah
Only a half a day away, yeah
Put a smile on your face, yeah
When you see that OMW, OMW
Meaning I’m on my way, yeah
Hell, yeah, I’m on my way, yeah
That’s a chorus you might expect from a Eurodance trash band. The verses have quite a lot of old style Zac Brown Band in it. Is the OMW (On My Way) of the band compatible with my route? I don’t know. Somehow I don’t feel it, so far.
4. Someone I Used To Know
Someone I Used To Know is the first track on the album with gives me a touch of comfort. Still not the Zac Brown Band sound I like, though.
5. Me and The Boys in The Band
So we dance all night (Dance all night)
A little pickin’ too (A little pickin’ too)
We take the weight of the world
And lift it right up off of you
(That’s what we do)
Me and The Boys in The Band is the most country-alike track on the album – and the best song on it to me as well.
6. Finish What We Started (feat. Brandi Carlile)
Amazing country artist Brandi Carlile joins the Zac Brown for this slow track. The chorus is not all bad, but overall the song does not touch me too much.
7. God Given
Still not confused enough? Zac Brown is rapping on God Given – after all the deviations from their traditional music, this does not feel too surprising any more. To me, though, it feels like a 2:51 minute waste of time.
This song is also close to a bad dance track. After tracks like Me And The Boys In The Band gave some hope that will be some good tracks to follow on The Owl, God Given and Warrior destroy any chances again. No, thanks!
9. Shoofly Pie
After a very rhythmic beginning, there are some very slow and intense moments in this song. The most interesting thing about this song is that I now know what a “shoofly” is (though I did not even know the plant in German…).
10. Already On Fire
If you mix up a weak 1980’s track with some country touch and record that in a bad a mood, you are already very close to Already On Fire. Latest when the Zac Brown Band strongly use voice changes in the bridge, I am happy that this track is less than three minutes again.
11. Leaving Love Behind
Leaving Love Behind is a quite nice ballad at the very end of the album. I am glad that I made it. The song is one of the better ones of the album, definitely.
Zac Brown Band – The Owl – Spotify Link
You may listen to the full album via the Spotify Widget:
Zac Brown Band – The Owl – My View
I had to listen to the album multiple times before I really felt ready to write something about it. The Owl confused me too much and I did not want to be unfair. After having listened to it five or six time, I does not feel more familiar and it still confuses me. I expected something different – but even if I don’t listen to my expectations and forget the great hits of the band, The Owl just does not feel better. I don’t see a common story, a message or something else which catches me. The album is experimental and a departure from their route in an undefined direction. I simply don’t share their trip to The Owl and don’t feel the wisdom here.
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