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.
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.