Album Reviews

Zac Brown Band – Welcome Home – Album Review

Zac Brown Band are easily one of my favourite bands of all genres. They are one of those bands that are multi talented, multi instrumentalists and each band member is equally recognisable, likeable and important.

Zac Brown Band are one of the best live acts in the world. They are one of those artists that even if you don’t like country music or don’t even like their music they would still blow you away live as that is where their true talents and strengths lay, where their home seems to be and where they seem to be the happiest and shine the most. When you have a band such as ZBB with nine members then I should only imagine that they itch to be on the stage whenever they can so they can all be involved and showcase their talent in person. As great as their albums are, they don’t do them justice – so if you get the opportunity, go see them live to take in every aspect of what Zac Brown Band are all about.

Zac Brown Band have released some of the best songs in modern country music over the years as well as experimenting with their sound by releasing some very diverse music ranging from cross over country rock, country metal, country folk and some very dance-pop tracks.

Welcome Home is their fifth official studio album produced by Dave Cobb and the most personal album to them to date. As the album title states, I feel we are welcomed home with ZBB on this album and that they have truly returned to their roots. Zac has even mentioned before that this album was intended to be in the style of The Foundation.

The rather fitting track name wise Roots really does take us back to Zac Brown Bands Roots from the very start with their original sound and reminds us of the early days of The Foundation as intended and of also a little of You Get What You Give. The story behind the song shows how Zac began his career and how he hasn’t forgotten…well..his roots.

As always with their music, the detail of instrumentation make the songs a grade higher and make them truly glow. You can hear every instrument in each song clearly and you want to hear every instrument so that you can soak it all in because their music is more than just a song, it’s a moment, a memory and something that really captivates you. Zac Brown Band have a signature sound that makes them instantly recognisable and sets them apart from any other band out today and that sound remains throughout this album which I am really happy about.

Real Thing – I love the piano intro to this song. This song has a definite early ZBB sound although in places is similar to another track. This is the type of song that will be fantastic in a live setting especially the collective vocals during the chorus.

Long Haul a mid tempo tune with a steady based beat with solid chord work from the guitar. It holds a sort of country-Jazz feel to it.

Family Table – this is a favourite for me as has a ‘Jump Right In’ styled rhythm to it and a funky-countrified beat.

2 Places at One Time – at first it reminded me of Tomorrow Never Comes but then it drifted away from that to its own song. It is a very pretty as most of their ballads are and as I keep mentioning, you can’t knock the instrumentation.

My Old Man is probably one of the most stand out tracks for me. It has their stamp of beautiful ballad all over it aided by the stunning fiddle accompaniment. It is a heavenly haunting track with a lot of passion and is truly emotive in both its vocals and melody. Zac is very family proud and this song is dedicated to his father and he certainly shows his family pride, love and passion in both his lyrics and voice and its wonderful to hear.

Start Over – is another stand out track for me and is one of those fun Tiki, Luau songs that Zac Brown Band do so well like Toes and Island Song.

Your Majesty – another vocal group track with great harmonies and a great ‘whoa oh’ hook for the live audience to chant along to and throw an arm in the air whilst doing so.

Trying To Drive – is a wonderfully crafted duet with Aslyn. This song has been knocking around for years and is the most powerful song off the album. It certainly grabs your attention and Aslyn’s voice is a true powerhouse with ‘out of this world’ riffs in her vocals that I will now, without a doubt be looking up her music.

All The Best – this is my favourite by far and reminds me of Dan Layus. This gorgeous ballad has a lovely Folk/Americana element to it with backing vocals and harmonies provided by Kacey Musgraves who has one of the best voices in country music – together their vocals blend beautifully and truly compliment each other which makes this song even more enchanting and soulfully stunning and emotive.

Overall, Welcome Home is a great album and fans should not be left disappointed. It doesn’t hit me quite like The Foundation or You Get What You Give did nor do any songs jump out quite like Toes, Chicken Fried or Jump Right In, to name a few but the album comes pretty darn close to it and does the job nicely and it remains very authentic, soulful with lyrical depth and musical content that make you grab the hooks and allow yourself to be reeled in.

Welcome Home is released May 12th and can be pre-ordered below

Welcome Home by Zac Brown Band

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