My review of The Outsiders (http://tinyurl.com/l5jutzz) received a lot of traffic and was posted on a radio station’s blog saying that it was ridiculous. I stand by what I wrote. The album is not as original as everyone thinks and is highly overproduced. I commend Eric for making an album that is vastly different form the typical Nashville format but I reviewed this album objectively. No, I don’t think the album was good, but I do believe it has some very good songs. Because I am not a critic and I am a huge Eric Church fan I’m going to review these songs below;
1. A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young
I think this is one of Eric Church’s best songs. This is the format where Eric shines; a stripped down, acoustic guitar focused melody. The lyrics are excellent and the song is very emotional. Songs like this should have been the foundation of his album. Yes he is a hard rocker and those songs should be there as well but this is what Eric does best.
2. Give Me Back My Hometown
This song harmoniously combines rock, country, and folk elements. This is a terrific song that has a powerful storyline. It is both genuine and well produced. Eric showcased his voice as well as his ear for music and put together a great single.
3. Dark Side
This song may be better then “Give Me Back My Hometown” but it is not the progressive sound Eric Church was “trying” to have on this album. As I said before, this is the format where Eric Church shines. He does it the best whether he wants to admit it or not.
4. The Outsiders
I really liked this song when it came out. I saw it as a statement song. I thought it was his proclamation to tell the world that he was not going to conform. I did not want the entire album to be in this style because it can only be used for one maybe two songs in an album. But this song on its own is very good.
This is another good song but it’s NOT original. It is the farthest thing from it. This song has been made a million times over. Eric claims he wrote/recorded over 100 songs for this album but did not want to include material that had been done before. Well this song has been done before. I like the song and I like Eric’s approach to it but it clearly goes against what Eric said he wanted the album to be about.
6. Like a Wrecking Ball
This song is good. I don’t like the reverb on Eric’s voice and I think it gets a little monotonous but the song is solid. It tells the very personal/intimate side of a story that has been done a million times; an artist on the road away from his wife/girlfriend. I think the lyrics could have been tightened up a bit but overall it’s a good song.