Album Review: Eric Church’s The Outsiders

Eric Church has been my favorite mainstream country artist for some time. I love his style, lyrics, approach and sound. He is currently one of the few genuine artists on county radio. I thought both the lead singles; The Outsiders and Give Me Back My Hometown were great songs and were a precursor for things to come. I expected the album to be one of the bests of 2014.

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After listening to the entire album I was very disappointed. The Outsiders is bad, the entire album feels disjointed, and Eric has tried way too hard to be different. He clearly went into the recording studio with one thing in mind: to create an album that could not be categorized into one specific genre. Eric has succeeded. Church didn’t create an album that blends genres harmoniously, no, he created an album that’s so bad, no genre is going to want to claim it. The album is an unoriginal cliche trying all too hard to paint Eric and his fans as Outsiders. I thought the lead off single was a statement. Eric wanted people to know that he would not conform to the musical format that is being released on country radio today. I did not expect the entire album to sound identical to The Outsiders (single) and harp on the same themes throughout, but it does. The lyrics are neither intriguing nor relatable. I doubt Church himself could relate anything on the album back to his real life.

Eric should have stuck with he does best; making country music with some rock influences. He should have written songs that are either true or at least relatable to his life. It’s one thing to have one song on your album that portrays yourself as a tough-guy outsider, its another thing to make an entire album with the intention of beating us over the head with the idea. The album sounds nothing like what he has released in the past. I understand artists grow overtime but this is too much. Eric needs to sit back and remember who he is and where he actually came from.

Grade: C/C+

-MWez

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9 thoughts on “Album Review: Eric Church’s The Outsiders

  1. Did you listen to the album? Doesn’t sound like it. How can you blame a guy for creating something original that doesn’t conform to a specific genre. Thats the problem with music today it all sounds the same. I believe he has created an album that packs a solid punch of rock while still being lyrically beautiful.

  2. Your review sounds over thought and too main stream. Trying to be different from the rest who LOVE. it and find it relatable. Read his article in Rolling Stone Magazine. He wrote 121 songs and narrowed it down to 7 because he felt like they had “been there before”…It was innovative, yes but definitely had ole school twang and new age rock and it was awesome. Better than Tim McGraws new stuff or Luke Bryans pop-star country crap…..

    • I posted this review over a week ago before any reviews of the album had been released. I listened to the album before reading any views. I have been following Eric Church for over ten years and I have thought he was one of the top 5 artists/songwriters from Nashville. This album was not his best effort. There are a few great songs on this album but I did not write a review on each individual song, I wrote a review on the entire album. Overall the album doesn’t work. I don’t buy the “he thought they had been done before” mantra. Talladega, Man Who was Gonna Die Young, Give me Back My Hometown, they have all been done before. Eric did the same thing on this album that many alternative/underground country artists are doing, but he did it haphazardly and sloppy.

      I did not judge this album based on Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw. Is it better then them? Sure. But that doesn’t mean it’s good. As I said before there are some good songs on the album but, as Eric has stressed in the past he wants to make great albums, and this is not one.

  3. Go review Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan instead. This album is terrific. Instead of going pop and conforming to what is “hot” right now, Eric is doing the opposite by experimenting with his sound and evolving as an artist.

    • Eric Church has been and still is my favorite artist today but seriously? How can you say this album is terrific? This album isn’t ever going to be “hot” because it’s a mess of songs that don’t even begin to go together. When going through the songs it literally sounds like one of the CDs I used to burn of random songs I liked at the time in high school to listen to while driving around with my friends. However, listening back to those CDs years later now I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking that I liked half of those songs. Which I can only hope he does too and goes back to making good rock inspired country songs again. Chief was literally the best cd ever made in my opinion. There literally isn’t a single bad song on that entire cd. We get he loves rock music he has made that clear- but just because you like something doesn’t mean you are good at it. He made it as a country singer and songwriter for a reason! He just needs to own it and be proud instead of worrying so damn much about not conforming. Still love him though!!!

  4. Spot on. So sick of the “no one gets me everyone’s against me” attitude. Eric Church is country emo. The first two albums were terrific. After that he went way downhill for me. And live, how many times can you shake your fist and beat your chest and silently scream before everyone gets annoyed? I’ll take releasing every song on Carolina over anything new from him from here on out.

    • It’s a shame Eric has to relay on a gimmick. He is a great songwriter and singer. That should be his main focus, nor portraying how rebellious he is. If that were true it would come out naturally, he doesn’t have to keep reminding everyone of it.

  5. I couldn’t agree more. As a huge Eric church fan I was very excited to hear the new album but was disappointed with it. A few great songs mixed with many that were just trying too hard to be new and different. He needs to stick with the formula that got him noticed in the first place, the Eric church that most of us came to love. He was praised as being a modern country artist that wasn’t too pop sounding but unfortunately he seems to be moving in that direction.

    • I did not want to say this in the post, but it almost seems as though Eric is going through a mid-life crisis. Just because he hears cool alternative music does not mean he has to release music that sounds like it. He needs to stick with what makes him who he is.

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