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The Outsiders
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2014
If you like regular old run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter pop-country - please do not buy this album and give it a negative review. This is not regular country music. It's all kinds of music wrapped into one album. Of the 12 songs, 9 of them are excellent. The rest are still better than anyone else's album "filler" in the industry. Some of the songs do take a couple listens to really hear what it's about. For example, I was NOT a fan of Creepin on Chief. But after 3 or 4 trips through I was grooving on it. There are a few of those here too. I am a die hard Church choir member. I've loved just about everything he's ever done. THIS album is better than country. It's above any one single genre. It's a variety pack. It has everything from traditional country to bluegrass, to southern rock, to 60's rock, to pop, to funk to psychedelic rock. Some songs have multiple genres within the same song. And he rocks it. None of them are out of place. I don't think this album will ever get old because of the variety he employs.

In this album I hear lots of different musical influences. Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath, John Mellencamp, Michael Jackson, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffet, Waylon, Hank Jr, Garth...... That's a lot of great sounds.

Again, I caution you - do not buy this if you are looking for a contemporary/pop-country cookie cutter sound. That's not what you'll get. You will get rocking songs that you will become emotionally attached to because they relate to your life. And I know I don't even need to mention that these are HIS songs. NOT some song that he bought from a writer that means nothing to him to sing. You can feel his connection to the song and that makes me like it just a little more.

The best TRUE ARTIST in all of music right now is Eric Church. Buy this album.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
The Outsiders is Eric Church's weakest album. There, I said it. It's not Chief. It's not Carolina. It most certainly isn't Sinners Like Me. Eric Church is Nashville's top artist right now, and that's not saying much, but he's so far ahead of the game that the sheer quality of his music is astounding. When I first heard the title track to this album, I was absolutely terrified about how far he would be "pushing the envelope." They say artistic freedom is a great thing to have, but there's no denying that artists can try to do too much, sometimes. That is the case with The Outsiders, as an album. It's essentially 12 songs worth of trying to fit square pegs in round holes. There are too many influences and genres flying around--just enough to make the album lack any hint of cohesiveness.

Here's the bright side--if what I've concluded is indeed true, that lack of cohesion, that, for lack of a better word, abandonment of the album concept in favor of unpredictability, is what makes this album special. I've decided that The Outsiders is a satirical take on the current state of Nashville "country." There is just no other justification for an artist who completely understood the album concept to go so far off the map. Most songs on this album are a ridiculous combination of genres that barely blend and honestly don't belong on the same record, but that, quite frankly, is the point. How many horribly constructed, it stuck to the wall so we'll record it messes have been infiltrating popular country radio waves, these days?

Then again, that's the difference between Eric Church and his peers. He knows how to blend influences. He knows how to adequately write and record a rock song, as evidenced by the aforementioned title track and songs like "That's Damn Rock and Roll." He actually knows how to rap, also displayed in the title track. He actually knows how to record hazy, swampy, numbers with hints of blues or bluegrass or what have you. Eric Church and Jay Joyce have figured out how to make all of these influences work, in songs. Unfortunately for us fans who have come to expect excellent albums from Eric Church, all we have here is a collection of fairly decent to great songs that don't belong together. Diversity is great, but The Outsiders is the very first canvas that Church and Joyce have ever decided to fling s*** at to see what sticks.

Then again, it's satirical. It's meant to be a collection of blended genres done well, and it is. Very few things on this record seem out of place within individual songs. It just doesn't stand together as an album.

Quite frankly, this album is hilarious. Eric is essentially showing all the label puppet pretty boys in Nashville how to rock, how to rap, how to take genuine introspection and turn it into a song. It's like he passed on the album concept in favor of "this is how it's done." "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young" and "Dark Side" are perfect examples of how to look within oneself and turn it into great songs. "Cold One" is how a fun beer song is supposed to be done. "Talladega" s how a pop country song is supposed to be done. "That's Damn Rock and Roll" is how a rock and roll song is supposed to be done. The first two verses of the title track is how rap can actually be applied to the country genre. "Devil Devil" is a lesson in metaphors and rhyme, something Nashville needs right now with hardcore sellouts like Blake Shelton using the word "fajitas" just to make crappy rhymes. While I'll deal with this for one album, I hope Eric eventually drops this whole rebellious nature and just writes and records good songs.

The day that Eric Church records the best music of his career will be after the point that he realizes he's best by himself with an acoustic guitar in hand. He needs to tell stories. He needs to stand alone. His band adds a fun element, but the best Eric Church only needs six strings and a microphone. So if I could tell Eric Church just one thing as a fan, it'd be "just write and record good songs, you giant, Jack Daniel's drinking bastard."

At this point, if you want good, legitimate country, your best bet is the state of Texas. They've had a better country scene for many years, anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2014
Eric Church and his band put forth an album full of depth and brutal honesty. It has taken me a few listens of the full album to appreciate the complexity and boundary pushing limits of this latest release. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of honest, pure artistic music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2014
Not the Eric Church I am accustomed to. There are a couple very good songs on the CD, but some are way different from his usual stuff. I have listened to the CD a few times and still am not getting into several of the songs. I know that he wanted to do something different hear, but a lot of it is way different from previous material.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2014
It gets better the more you really listen to every song and read between the lines on what Eric is talking about. Been a long time fan since the beginning and I'm really starting to warm up this album.

This is not some Luke Bryan crap this is a well thought and written album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
"Chief" is a far superior album. This is an collection of writing directed at the 17-25 target market. Multiple listenings, and I still cannot latch on to it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
Huge Eric Church fan and country fan in general. I vehemently disagree with the negative reviews posted about this CD. Sell Out...really? I guess I can understand that. Most people prefer their favorite artist perform in a box while wearing a straight jacket. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the current crop of country McMusic out there it is very good. But artist like Eric church, Kenny Chesney and others want to push the envelope musically and explore their musical demons, fans blasted Kenny's last effort as well, and need to. The best songs on this CD will never make it to the radio. The Outsiders, That's Damn Rock and Roll, Devil Devil including the Prelude, The Joint, Darkside. These songs got inside me. Just unbelievable. Everytime i take this CD out of my player I find myself pushing it back in for another go round. Keep walking the road less traveled Eric. I for one can't wait to hear what's next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
It is an ok cd - I like his others better but i'm sure it will grow on me in time
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Love the music - very innovative and cutting edge. Exactly what I would expect from Eric Church. I listen to it over and over!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2014
I love Eric Church's music and this album continues where Chief left off. The songs range from the already known The Outsiders, a rock-ish themed, riot-starting song, to Like a Wrecking Ball, about wild and crazy love-making. He mixes country and rock and R&B so well you'll forget that's not how it was before. I'm so happy people are finally taking notice to what he's capable of and he just keeps getting better over time!
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