Top positive review
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This Album Owns - Best Band in last 5 Years
on September 26, 2010
Let me preface by saying that I love all kinds of music. From Country to Hip-hop, I love everything. My favorite band in the world is Dave Matthews Band, a band who much like ZBB is better live than in the studio. It took me a while to listen to "The Foundation" album because I wasn't immediately a fan of "Chicken Fried," but "Whatever it is" brought me on board to the idea of listening to it, and when I heard "Highway 20 Ride" for the first time I knew it was an album that I needed to listen to. But let me get to this album. There are 18 tracks available. The deluxe edition has 16, and the iTunes version carries an additional two tracks.
Now to the music.... WOW. Zac Brown Band is the best band to come along in the last 5 years and "Colder Weather" is possibly the best song I have heard in the last 5. I remember hearing it for the first time. I was watching the ZBB webcast from Bonaroo on Youtube live, and they were playing a fantastic show. About half-way through Zac took a breather and told the crowd that he was about to sing a song that he considered the best he had ever written. I wasn't sure what to expect, but from that beautiful piano intro, I was hooked! I was so upset that I didn't have a copy of this song that I went looking everywhere for it. I finally discovered that the song was available on a Live CD that the band had released entitled "Pass The Jar" so I immediately scooped it up. And that's how this crazy ZBB fan was born.
This album is incredible! I don't know how else to say it. From the catchy and single worthy opener "Let It Go" to the upbeat jamboree of "Whiskeys Gone" to the INCREDIBLE "Martin", a song about a man of music and the importance of his guitar, this album shines. It is not a country album. It is an album with some country songs, but mostly this is an album of unadulterated music. This is music. There is no genre, there is no box to place this band in, they are simply musicians and they present themselves as such. Lyrically this album is astounding, and much like Dave Matthews, Zac Brown WRITES all of his songs. You just don't find that often these days. So here's my take, song-by-song. Listen to this album! It is AMAZING!
1. Let It Go (10/10) - A catchy, singly worthy tune with a great hook. One of the best on the album
2. Knee Deep feat Jimmy Buffet (9/10)- this is more of a"toes" type song. It'll be great by the pool or on the beach next summer. Jimmy Buffet adds an increased island feel. Love it.
3. No Hurry (10/10) - Just a beautiful intro. I was hooked from second number one. Great lyrics, great musicality, very chill feel. Catchy chorus once again.
4. I Play the Road (9/10) - Another feel good song by the ZBB. Nothing sounds the same with this band, and the whole thing is filled with hooks that are memorable and delightful.
5. Cold Hearted (10/10) - Fantastic song about caring for someone who only hurts you with their cold heart. It reminds me of something from Motown almost. I'm not sure why, but it sounds familiar and different at the same time.
6. Whiskey's Gone (9/10) - The "Chicken Fried" of this album. This is one of the country songs on this album, but it's as great as most of the album.
7. Quiet Your Mind (10/10) - This song has a rock edge to it with this gospel inflection that's just amazing! QUIET YOUR MIND!
8. Colder Weather (20/10) - As I said above, it's the best song that I have heard in the last 5 years. It's perfectly written, produced, sung. Everything about this song is perfect. It's haunting, uplifting, full of imagery and essence. Absolute perfection. This song should be #1 for WEEKS.
9. Settle Me Down (9/10) - Another great "toes" like summer/beach song. Fun, funky, reggae like. This band is not afraid to try different sounds.
10. As She's Walking Away - (9/10) This song features Alan Jackson and is the first single off the album. Great harmonizing, nice gospel feel to it. Great song, but not the best on the album.
11. Keep Me in Mind (10/10) - Just a jazzy/bluesy/reggae feel good love song. Can't stop listening to it. One of the album's best. It's unlike other ZBB songs.
12. Who Knows (10/10) - The ZBB loves to jam out in concert, much like DMB, and this is their foray into a jam sesh on a studio album. 10 minutes long. It's freaking amazing, and you can tell the band LOVES playing this song. I feel like I would hear this song somewhere on Beale Street in Memphis from a band that simply loves playing music and exciting a crowd. This song does that for sure!
13. Martin (11/10) - WOW! I play guitar (as best I can haha). I've have my depressing moments in life, and there's this feeling when times are their worst that your guitar is the only thing that has your back. I've written songs, poetry, and even tried to write my own song about my guitar that I thought was good, but this song blows it away. When he says "He is a good friend, And he has his own voice. And you get what you give; Sometimes it's just noise. But if you treat him well, He will last your life long. And if you're honest and open Well, he will write you a song." Beauty and perfection
14. Make This Day (9/10)- This is my least favorite song on the album, but I understand why it might not be for others. Very upbeat. It's a catchy tune, but it just can't compare to the rest of this album.