Categories :

Albums

CD$7.99

Country - Released October 18, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released October 18, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

HI-RES$17.99
CD$15.49

Country - Released September 20, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Hi-Res
The ghost of Sir Rosevelt looms over The Owl. Zac Brown's dance side project released an album soon after Welcome Home, the 2017 album from the Zac Brown Band, but it was buried, not even making an appearance on Billboard's Top 400. Brown didn't interpret this lack of success as rejection. Instead, he decided to push the Zac Brown Band firmly into pop, inviting Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Poo Bear, and Skrillex into the studio to collaborate. This list of premium pop and dance producers suggests that The Owl is a far cry from the downhome charms of the Dave Cobb-produced Welcome Home, and that's true. The Owl gleams like a shiny new trinket from an upscale mall, its individual songs designed to ease onto any playlist you'd fancy. Nominally country, The Owl often throbs to electronic rhythms and is slathered in synths, to the point where even a funky blues number like "Me and the Boys in the Band" is polished so it could be considered pop. Unlike so many pop moves from country artists, The Owl is executed cleverly, never renouncing the core elements of the Zac Brown Band: "Shoofly Pie" is a loose-limbed rocker designed to keep the crowds moving during the mid-set, and "Leaving Love Behind" leans into Brown's James Taylor side. These cozy numbers just happen to be anomalies on The Owl. The rest of the record finds Brown defiantly bringing the glitzy party sensibility of Sir Rosevelt into the Zac Brown Band, getting his main group to play EDM rhythms, take a detour into rap, and play a ballad co-written by Shawn Mendes. The fact that a good chunk of the numbers work does not erase how deeply strange this album is. A band who once celebrated the simple pleasures of toes in the sand are now singing about champagne glasses filled with diamonds and, no matter how many times The Owl is spun, it's impossible to tell how they got to this point. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
CD$15.49

Country - Released September 20, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$22.99

Country - Released June 14, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released May 3, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released October 19, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$12.99

Country - Released November 3, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Hopping over to Broken Bow Records after a one-album spell at Warner, Kid Rock doubles down on the contention that he's now a country artist -- a notion that was first made explicit on 2015's First Kiss but stretches back to at least 2010's Born Free, when the former Bob Ritchie attempted to make a Bob Seger album with Rick Rubin. Sweet Southern Sugar still has some hardscrabble Detroit in its soul but, like its title suggests, its heart is in Dixie, which is where Kid imagines his audience in 2017 also lies. Certainly, Sweet Southern Sugar is loaded with red state signifiers, but it's not a political album per se, as Kid Rock is simply celebrating all the things that make libs cry. At times, this makes his lyrics play like a profane game of Mad Libs -- particularly on the clumsy "Bawitadaba" re-write "Greatest Show on Earth" and "Grandpa's Jam," whose title seems like an excuse for the song's corny rhymes -- but the words aren't nearly as important as the throwback sound of Sweet Southern Sugar. Steeped in the seedy '70s, Sweet Southern Sugar deliberately evokes the greasy blues of ZZ Top but drifts toward such hammy rockers as Black Oak Arkansas, occasionally winding up in Ram Jam territory. As retro as this album feels, Rock still finds space for plenty of old-school raps and a reinvention of the Four Tops' "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" as a slow jam -- sounds that may nominally be fresher than Rock's old-fashioned hard rock, but which are still rooted firmly in the past. Living in the past is the key not just to Sweet Southern Sugar but Kid Rock's reinvention as a country singer. The music hasn't changed much, nor has his swagger, but the times have, leaving Kid Rock sounding older and squarer than his years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
CD$1.49

Country - Released October 24, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released October 24, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released September 9, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$1.49

Country - Released July 15, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Country - Released September 18, 2015 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
Southern Drawl arrives 14 years after Alabama's last secular album, 2001's When It All Goes South -- a record that reached four on Billboard's Country Albums chart but is largely forgotten -- but a better way to put it into context is that it is the group's first record since Brad Paisley kick-started a new millennial Alabama revival thanks to his 2011 hit "Old Alabama." The group -- now down to the founding trio of Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry -- did attempt to ride that wave in 2013 via the showy tribute album Alabama & Friends, a record mainly notable for getting the band back out on the road, a process that eventually led to Southern Drawl. Opening with a heavy-footed stumble through all the things that make the South great -- a parade of signifiers that could double for the best things of Red States -- Southern Drawl doesn't get off to an auspicious start; buttressed with big beats and cranked guitars, Alabama don't sound defiant as much as a group of greying uncles squeezing themselves into skinny jeans to prove they're hip. Trying too hard is an unfortunate undercurrent on the record, whether it's on the clunky cornpone novelty "Hillbilly Wins the Lotto Money," the sticky wedding dance wannabe anthem "I Wanna Be There," or "American Farmer," an attempt to reignite the workingman spark of "40 Hour Week (For a Living)." Such down-the-middle numbers overshadow much subtler and nicer moments scattered throughout the record, moments that usually arrive in the soft, sweet ballads that give the group plenty of opportunity to showcase its gentle, interwoven harmonies. These slow tunes more than the over-pumped rockers feel the truest to old Alabama. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
CD$15.49

Country - Released September 18, 2015 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CD$14.49

Country - Released September 18, 2015 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Country - Released April 1, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
CD$12.99

Country - Released September 16, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available