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Country - Paru le 23 avril 2021 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Eric Church is known in Nashville as the spiritual descendent of Merle Haggard, but a listen to his incredibly fun live records, like the 61 Days in Church series, shows that his influences run deep and wide, as he covers Cheap Trick, The Band, Billy Joel, the Allman Brothers, Motown and more. On Soul, the second half of his two-part Heart & Soul album, he's always country—but he also wears those influences more openly on his sleeve than he ever has in his own music. (The same goes for Heart.) The freewheelin', loose and easy "Where I Wanna Be" gets right into a Band groove, with Church borrowing Levon Helm's rambling, effortless style. He and his own band, including impeccable backing vocalist Joanna Cotten, wear it well. More improbably, "Look Good and You Know It" channels Elton John and maybe even Mott the Hoople. Opening with a high-hat shimmer and reach-for-the-heavens gospel vocals, it rolls into a cool glam strut—then swerves into Church affecting a soul-man register. Nothing about the last two sentences makes sense on paper, and yet it works to delightful effect. There's also plenty of old-school Church here, like "Hell of a View," a raise-the-lighter and sing-along charmer that combines the singer's romantic ("I paint with my old Gibson/ You paint your purple sky") and rebellious ("I caught your wings on fire when I smoked my Bronco tires out of that town") sides—dripping with the nostalgia he loves—in one song. It's not an Eric Church record unless there's at least one "take this (fill in the blank) and shove it" song, and "Break it Kind of Guy" fits the bad-ass bill: "Don't tell me how to do it/ And don't tell me how to don't/ Don't tell me how to wing it/ I wing it how I want/ And don't tell me how to sing it/ It's my damn song." The difference this time? With Southern-rock blues guitar, disco drums and a falsetto rally cry of "I tell my eagle where to fly," it's funky and muscular and outlaw in a whole new way. (Hello, Black Keys? Found a country song for you to cover.) "Rock & Roll Found Me" shuffles and slithers on a blues vibe and "Bright Side Girl" is one of the sweetest love songs he's ever written. Acoustic closer "Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones" spins a completely imaginative tale of a hard-luck kid born to two Skynyrd fans—and ends with a M. Night Shymalan punchline: The kid is the son of Curtis Loew, as in the blues man from "The Ballad of Curtis Loew." In someone else's hands, it would be an eye-roller, but music superfan Church somehow makes it feel tender-hearted. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Country - Paru le 16 avril 2021 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Deux ans à peine après Desperate Man, Eric Church livre son septième album studio, Heart & Soul. Celui-ci se divise en trois parties, dont deux seulement bénéficient d’une distribution à grande échelle. En effet, de manière ingénieuse, l’album &, au contraire des deux autres, Heart d’un côté et Soul de l’autre, ne sort dans un premier temps qu’à l’attention des membres de son fan-club sous forme de disque vinyle. Ce n’est qu’un peu plus tard, une fois que cette stratégie commerciale visant à privilégier les fans les plus fidèles aura eu l’effet escompté, que l’album Heart & Soul regroupera sur un seul opus les 24 pistes. La majorité des titres a été enregistrée au début de l’année 2020, au cours d’une retraite que s’est accordé le chanteur au milieu des montagnes de Caroline du Nord. Accompagné de nombreux collaborateurs, qu’ils soient musiciens, auteurs ou techniciens, dont bon nombre ne se connaissaient pas, il s’installe dans un studio résidentiel, à l’ancienne, et décide d’écrire et de composer une chanson par jour. Dans cette bulle, il ignore encore que le retour à la vie extérieure, en pleine pandémie mondiale de Covid-19, exigera bientôt un nouveau confinement, forcé davantage que choisi. Peu importe, il a pu venir à bout de son projet dantesque qu’il s’est attaché à polir patiemment dans l’espoir d’un monde nouveau qui le verrait défendre ses nouvelles chansons sur scène. Heart & Soul est une œuvre dense, dont les premiers titres, tels que « Heart on Fire » ou « Heart of the Night » laissent vite augurer du meilleur. Le style narratif d’Eric Church, qui s’est entouré d’auteurs fidèles depuis des années, tels que Jeff Hyde, Casey Beathard, Luke Laird, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Dick et Travis Meadows, fait rapidement mouche. Bruce Springsteen n’est d’ailleurs pas très loin sur le bouillant « Stick That in Your Country » qui dénonce aussi bien l’abandon des usines de Détroit que des vétérans de guerre éclopés ou encore des enseignants sous-payés. Dans ce titre puissant, écrit par les auteurs-compositeurs de Nashville Davis Naish et Jeffrey Steele, le rythme, palpitant tel un cœur qui bat, s’enrichit de guitares furieuses et de chœurs envoûtants, tandis qu’Eric Church fait valoir sa voix légèrement rocailleuse sur un refrain des plus efficaces. D’autres morceaux brillent sur Heart, et notamment la lumineuse ballade roots rock « Never Break Heart », avec son piano aérien, ses chœurs légers et son solo de guitare légèrement décousu, tout comme le délicat « Crazyland » ou ce « Bunch of Nothing » empreint de blues. L’album Soul est quant à lui très puissant sur le plan musical, notamment sur des titres tels que « Break It Kind of Guy », avec son approche presque funk ou encore le surprenant « Bad Mother Trucker ». Quant au plus court &, il vaut surtout pour le simple Through My Ray-Bans, dans lequel Eric Church s’attarde notamment sur la relation particulière qui le lie à son public. Pointu musicalement, sincère dans la démarche, Eric Church a presque tout bon avec ce triptyque monumental. © ©Copyright Music Story Ollmedia 2021
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Country - Paru le 5 octobre 2018 | EMI Records Nashville

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Depuis toujours, la country sollicite une fan base bien fidèle. Bien que l’âge d’or du genre ne mette plus à l’honneur les honkytonks et le Texas des années 50, il est difficile de rivaliser avec le charisme d’Eric Church. Le troubadour quadragénaire de Caroline du Nord entretient ces légendes américaines. A mi-chemin entre un Tony Joe White et un John Prine, c’est sur une country-rock au songwriting pertinent qu’il s’impose depuis 2006 avec son premier album Sinners Like Me. Depuis, Church est devenu une référence et une icône, transformant chaque nouveau disque en évènement quasi national. Avec Desperate Man, il confirme que son image de superstar n’ébranle en rien sa créativité. Coécrit avec le Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard, c’est sur une pop-country aux influences swamp rock et parfois groovy qu’ils font vivre l’esprit sudiste américain. Loin d’un Luke Brian et autre Tim McGraw, Desperate Man porte une véritable charge émotionnelle.L’homme est en quête de stabilité mentale dans un monde qui semble avoir perdu tout repère. Son titre éponyme souligne un côté désespéré et après s’être rendu à Joshua Tree pour y prier, Eric Church finit chez une diseuse de bonne aventure pour apprendre qu’il n’a tout simplement pas d’avenir. Soit. Alors en attendant, autant se concentrer sur ce qu’il fait de mieux. Ouverture par l’ondulation d’un serpent des marécages sur des couplets récités avec une voix grave et mystérieuse, un traditionnel swamp rock qui ne tarde pas à être balayé par le très rythmé Hangin’ Around. Hochement de tête et tapes de pied en rythme obligatoire avant d’être absorbé par la pop sucrée à la Hank Jr. de Some of It. Church sait parfaitement doser les nuances entre chaque titre. Humour à base de « Boo boo boo » et sonorités Rolling Stones avec Desperate Man, distorsions de steel guitare sur Solid et toujours cette voix légèrement nasillarde. Un neuvième album qui a bien sa place à l’Opry, d’autant plus quand la production est signée Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Iggy Pop…). © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Country - Paru le 5 novembre 2015 | EMI Records Nashville

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Arriving after the deliberately overblown The Outsiders -- an outlaw album pumped up on steroids, gaining its resonance through its slow songs -- Mr. Misunderstood feels like a correction: a swift, modest album shorn of excess, released without an iota of pre-release hype. Devoid of the arena rock feints that dogged The Outsiders -- there are no two-part metallic jams, no salutations to damn rock & roll -- Mr. Misunderstood is hardly a back-to-basics move or a refutation of his over-amplified indulgences. Rather, this 2015 record pulls together the strands Church left hanging on his 2014 set, never shuffling country and rock -- or blues or soul, for that matter -- into their own categories. Church creates his own Americana, pulling from the classic rock wallpapering Middle America and the modern country that runs through the sports bars of the suburbs, making nods to swamp funk and soul along the way, but when he tips his cap to Elvis Costello, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Jeff Tweedy, it's as telling as the Jackson Pollock allusion a few lines later: where other country is provincial, Church embraces the world without repudiating his home. Certainly, there's a strong sense of family flowing throughout Mr. Misunderstood -- he's married to a dream, but his mistress is music; he writes about one son, but puts another on the cover -- but Church takes a cue from "Give Me Back My Hometown," favoring specificity over broad clichés. Take the title track, where he tells a tale that feels autobiographical but he's seeing himself within a teenage outsider stuck in the back of class: here, he opens the door upon the possibility that the rest of the songs on the record -- the tales of heartbreak and longing, maybe even the stories of love and family -- are characters, not confession. Either way, Church's songs are anchored with an authoritative sense of sentiment and place, and they're brought to life by the precise roar of the Eric Church Band. No longer overwhelming with sheer volume, they dig into the funk of "Chattanooga Lucy" and race their leader to the conclusion of "Mr. Misunderstood," but they shine by maintaining the mournful soul of "Round Here Buzz" or by building the tension of "Knives of New Orleans" or by keeping the Susan Tedeschi duet "Mixed Drinks About Feelings" at a sweet, sad simmer. Where The Outsiders was designed to dazzle, Mr. Misunderstood is built for the long haul: it settles into the soul, its pleasures immediate but also sustained. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 26 juillet 2011 | EMI Records Nashville

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Contemporary country singer and songwriter Eric Church has been on a roll since 2006. He's had a slew of charting singles and albums, won Top New Solo Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards for 2010, and in early 2011, both the Caldwell County EP and "Homeboy" -- the pre-release single for Chief -- hit number 13 on the chart. That said, he hasn't reached the commercial heights -- yet -- that peers such as Jason Aldean and Justin Moore have. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, because Church is having it both ways: he scores consistently enough to keep his label interested, but also maintains his independence to a degree, which turns on his fans. Church co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs on Chief. Once more teamed with producer/guitarist/bandleader Jay Joyce, he delivers a collection that, on the one hand, stays close to his outlaw pose -- in the new contemporary country sense of the term -- while being firmly entrenched in the music's mainstream. "Homeboy" offers a taste of the kinds of streetwise characters Church seems to prefer to write and sing about (even if they are him at times), though the production is atypical of the rest of the set. “I’m Gettin’ Stoned” commences with a National Steel guitar and a thumping tom-tom before winding its way into neo-blues-rock before pulling in the reins; his lyrics bemoan the fact that an ex is getting married while he's left to get wasted alone. It's a new kind of "cryin' in your beer" song. “Drink in My Hand,” with its ringing, open '70s rock guitars and sharp crackling snare, defiantly state that no matter how oppressive his boss is, he cannot ruin the experience of his own cold beer once the work day is done. "Springsteen" isn't so much about the Boss as it is a nostalgic ode to an early love and the memory of the legendary songwriter's music as an accompanying soundtrack to it. It's a clever, if somewhat cloying, tune, but it gets the feeling across in spades. "Country Music Jesus" is a paean and a prayer, a rockist wish for a "long haired hippie prophet who preaches from the book of Johnny Cash" to save what's left of the tradition, and then evokes the spirit of Charlie Daniels to underscore it. Chief is defiant, well-conceived, and more carefully executed than it sounds, with some excellent songs. While it doesn't break any new ground and remains firmly entrenched in contemporary country's geography, it evokes the riled-up, bluesy hard country rock sound of Hank Jr. enough that it separates Church from the genre's other practitioners who are attempting the same thing. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 11 février 2014 | EMI Records Nashville

Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn't give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel. He sings about his "Dark Side" and the Devil, murmurs ominously about "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young," winks a double entendre about "The Joint," and declares "That's Damn Rock & Roll," a provocative statement from a singer who is nominally country but loves to strut with a heavy metal swagger. Church brings on the thunder with "The Outsiders," a galumphing rallying cry that's intended as a middle finger to all those cheerful bros in tight-fitting jeans who sing songs about trucks set to a hip-hop beat. He may sneer at those good-looking suburban country dudes riding the top of the charts but Church is a modern man -- he decorates the kiss-off "Cold One" with a skittish electronic funk beat -- who doesn't take a second glance at the past, unless it's to tip a hat to Hank, Hag, Jones, or Waylon or to deliver the slow-burning Southern soul of "Like a Wrecking Ball." Contrary to the bluster of "The Outsiders" and "That's Damn Rock & Roll," Church doesn't follow the macho straight and narrow on The Outsiders. Surely, he never disguises his masculine side but sings sweetly, too, and he indulges in detours, the craziest being the prog pomposity of the eight-minute suite "Devil, Devil (Prelude: Princess of Darkness)." Most of all, he takes strides to paint himself as the heir apparent to workingman's hero Bruce Springsteen, going so far as to write an anthem to dying middle-class America called "Give Me Back My Hometown." Designed to be a set closer at arenas across the U.S., it delivers the requisite fireworks but Church possesses a sly eye for detail that humanizes his broad strokes, a necessary counterpoint to songs that are otherwise outsized. This shift toward the epic -- present throughout The Outsiders but not always dominating the tone -- is a real shift for Church, who has otherwise specialized in songs that are a little simpler. Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country, and if he doesn't quite knock it out of the park when he swings for the fences, he nevertheless scores. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 24 mars 2009 | Capitol Nashville

"The Man in Black woulda whipped your ass/And I don't think Waylon done it that way" -- Eric Church on "Lotta Boot Left to Fill" It's a great line that Eric Church means when he sings, but he can't quite convince listeners that he's in the outlaw tradition of Cash, Waylon, and Hank. Church sings like a manicured model, striking all the poses and hitting all the notes, but missing that essential grit. Of course, he isn't helped out by the production of his second album Carolina, a recording that gleams pristine, designed for two drinks at an after-work smokeless bar, not a long booze-filled night at a honky tonk dive. It's a commercial sound, one that puts Carolina firmly within the mainstream, and it also fits the contours of Church's voice. No matter how much he sings about being "Young and Wild" and how he likes to "Smoke a Little Smoke," he sounds like a guy who wants to cut loose but can't manage to shed his inhibitions, which kind of keeps Carolina in a bit of a straitjacket, never sounding as big and brawny as it wants to be. Church fares better when things get a little less macho, when he slides into the ballads like "Where She Told Me to Go" or tunes that are a little sprightly, like the poppy "Without You Here" and the wistful title track. Although there's a bit of a puppy-dog charm to Church's yearning to be bad, it's these softer numbers that suit his talents, and he'd be better off relying on this instead of trying so hard to be wild. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 24 mai 2019 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Country - Paru le 6 octobre 2017 | EMI Records Nashville

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Country - Paru le 15 septembre 2017 | EMI Records Nashville

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Country - Paru le 18 juillet 2006 | Capitol Nashville

At a time when country music was sliding deeper and deeper into a soulless pop rut, Capitol Records Nashville took a chance on North Carolina native Eric Church and his hard-edged music. With one foot planted firmly in the Haggard tradition and the other in the outlaw style of Waylon and Hank Jr., Church stormed onto the charts with his debut album, Sinners Like Me. He grew up listening to the old-school sounds of the Hag and his outlaw brethren, but he also had one ear tuned to the rock & roll sounds rumbling from the other side of the tracks. Sinners Like Me is a cool country-rock hybrid that is far removed from the lameness that is usually associated with the 21st century country music scene. The boot stomping grit of "Before She Does," an electric guitar steeped number that has Church wailing that Jesus will be back before the girl who left him high and dry will, sets the tone for the entire disc. Raw and real pretty much sums up the 11-track collection. One minute Church is reflecting on an old pair of boots that have seen him through many hard times on the mandolin smoked "These Boots," the next he's slipping into the skin of a death row inmate in his final moments on the lump-in-the-throat "Lightning." If you look up the word "authentic" in the dictionary, you just might see a picture of Eric Church. © Todd Sterling /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 1 janvier 2013 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Country - Paru le 25 juin 2020 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Country - Paru le 29 décembre 2017 | EMI Records Nashville

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Country - Paru le 11 décembre 2020 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Country - Paru le 4 novembre 2016 | EMI Records Nashville

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Country - Paru le 17 novembre 2017 | EMI Records Nashville

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Country - Paru le 2 octobre 2020 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

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Country - Paru le 5 novembre 2015 | EMI Records Nashville

Arriving after the deliberately overblown The Outsiders -- an outlaw album pumped up on steroids, gaining its resonance through its slow songs -- Mr. Misunderstood feels like a correction: a swift, modest album shorn of excess, released without an iota of pre-release hype. Devoid of the arena rock feints that dogged The Outsiders -- there are no two-part metallic jams, no salutations to damn rock & roll -- Mr. Misunderstood is hardly a back-to-basics move or a refutation of his over-amplified indulgences. Rather, this 2015 record pulls together the strands Church left hanging on his 2014 set, never shuffling country and rock -- or blues or soul, for that matter -- into their own categories. Church creates his own Americana, pulling from the classic rock wallpapering Middle America and the modern country that runs through the sports bars of the suburbs, making nods to swamp funk and soul along the way, but when he tips his cap to Elvis Costello, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Jeff Tweedy, it's as telling as the Jackson Pollock allusion a few lines later: where other country is provincial, Church embraces the world without repudiating his home. Certainly, there's a strong sense of family flowing throughout Mr. Misunderstood -- he's married to a dream, but his mistress is music; he writes about one son, but puts another on the cover -- but Church takes a cue from "Give Me Back My Hometown," favoring specificity over broad clichés. Take the title track, where he tells a tale that feels autobiographical but he's seeing himself within a teenage outsider stuck in the back of class: here, he opens the door upon the possibility that the rest of the songs on the record -- the tales of heartbreak and longing, maybe even the stories of love and family -- are characters, not confession. Either way, Church's songs are anchored with an authoritative sense of sentiment and place, and they're brought to life by the precise roar of the Eric Church Band. No longer overwhelming with sheer volume, they dig into the funk of "Chattanooga Lucy" and race their leader to the conclusion of "Mr. Misunderstood," but they shine by maintaining the mournful soul of "Round Here Buzz" or by building the tension of "Knives of New Orleans" or by keeping the Susan Tedeschi duet "Mixed Drinks About Feelings" at a sweet, sad simmer. Where The Outsiders was designed to dazzle, Mr. Misunderstood is built for the long haul: it settles into the soul, its pleasures immediate but also sustained. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Paru le 5 octobre 2018 | EMI Records Nashville

Depuis toujours, la country sollicite une fan base bien fidèle. Bien que l’âge d’or du genre ne mette plus à l’honneur les honkytonks et le Texas des années 50, il est difficile de rivaliser avec le charisme d’Eric Church. Le troubadour quadragénaire de Caroline du Nord entretient ces légendes américaines. A mi-chemin entre un Tony Joe White et un John Prine, c’est sur une country-rock au songwriting pertinent qu’il s’impose depuis 2006 avec son premier album Sinners Like Me. Depuis, Church est devenu une référence et une icône, transformant chaque nouveau disque en évènement quasi national. Avec Desperate Man, il confirme que son image de superstar n’ébranle en rien sa créativité. Coécrit avec le Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard, c’est sur une pop-country aux influences swamp rock et parfois groovy qu’ils font vivre l’esprit sudiste américain. Loin d’un Luke Brian et autre Tim McGraw, Desperate Man porte une véritable charge émotionnelle.L’homme est en quête de stabilité mentale dans un monde qui semble avoir perdu tout repère. Son titre éponyme souligne un côté désespéré et après s’être rendu à Joshua Tree pour y prier, Eric Church finit chez une diseuse de bonne aventure pour apprendre qu’il n’a tout simplement pas d’avenir. Soit. Alors en attendant, autant se concentrer sur ce qu’il fait de mieux. Ouverture par l’ondulation d’un serpent des marécages sur des couplets récités avec une voix grave et mystérieuse, un traditionnel swamp rock qui ne tarde pas à être balayé par le très rythmé Hangin’ Around. Hochement de tête et tapes de pied en rythme obligatoire avant d’être absorbé par la pop sucrée à la Hank Jr. de Some of It. Church sait parfaitement doser les nuances entre chaque titre. Humour à base de « Boo boo boo » et sonorités Rolling Stones avec Desperate Man, distorsions de steel guitare sur Solid et toujours cette voix légèrement nasillarde. Un neuvième album qui a bien sa place à l’Opry, d’autant plus quand la production est signée Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Iggy Pop…). © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz