Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Tunes Tuesday - Uncaged

Zac Brown Band is known for pushing the limits and redefining "something for everyone". Their third album, "Uncaged", delivers another successful musical statement.

I was introduced to this band by a dear friend and loved them immediately. They are super talented bringing a mix of Reggae, bluegrass, gospel and southern rock to their sound. Brown's voice is smooth and soothing while his band is full of instrumental geniuses that offer up beautiful supporting harmonies.

The album jumps all over the place musically, just what we've grown to expect and love about Zac Brown Band. The opening track, "Jump Right In", is drenched in a Chesney-Buffet-Caribbean style. Same for "Island Song" calling you to the salty seas and ice cold beer.  The title track, "Uncaged", opens with guitar riffs and a big organ sound with a southern-rock Skynyrd-like sound.  "Natural Disaster" and "The Wind" are toe-tapping bluegrass songs to keep them safely in the country genre.

The last three songs proclaim life-lessons-learned in typical ZBB fashion. "On the day that I die I want to say that I was a man that really lived and never compromised." "Lance's Song" is a tender tribute to Atlanta drummer Lance Tilton who died in a car accident in 2010. “When he closed his eyes, fell into a dream that never dies. And when the thunder comes, you can hear his kick drum in the sky, feel the rain fall from our eyes.”

The only semi-awkward moment comes from "Overnight". It beckons us to the bedroom with an R&B groove and lyrics like "we're gonna get this bed a rockin' and it ain't gonna stop". It's a pretty bold song where they channel their inner Marvin Gaye.

The one that really worked for me was "Goodbye In Her Eyes". This song would be my pick for the next single. It has a slow build with great lyrics. A song about one foot out the door he sings "She found what she was looking for and I knew it wasn't me." The best lyric, however, is this: "Sometimes I feel like a clown who can't wash off his makeup". Ever feel like that?

I had really high hopes and expectations for this album. I am certainly not disappointed. I liked it on the first listen, loved it on the second, and am now singing along after multiple repeats. Keep on pushing those boundaries, Zac Brown Band, and play your music uncaged.


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