May 22, 2017 Zac Brown Band – Welcome Home (Album Review)
We have got great food, friends, and family, and the good Lord gathered round our pine table, so Welcome Home! Zac Brown Band wish to invite you to the meal, beginning May 12, 2017 via Southern Ground/Elektra Records.
Zac Brown Band centers around namesake Zachry Alexander Brown, lead vocalist and guitarist of the Country octet who got their start in Atlanta, Georgia in the early 2000s. Their major label debut, 2008’s The Foundation, would earn the group a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2009 and go on to sell some 3.4 million copies in the U.S. alone. The band would go on to record three more albums – from 2010’s You Get What You Give to 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde – amassing accolades and tremendous commercial success. In Modern Country, few bands are as well-respected and beloved as Zac Brown Band.
Now Zac Brown Band return with Welcome Home via Brown’s own Southern Ground, distributed by Elektra Records. A ten-song collection of good times and good love, Welcome Home was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Shooter Jennings) and sees duets with both Georgian Pop Singer Aslyn and Grammy Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Kacey Musgraves.
Welcome Home begins with a catchy, sing-along-worthy tribute to family and home called “Roots.” The track sets the stage for an album full of infectiously melodic odes to relationships, especially those with loved ones back home. On the “Real Thing,” listeners are reminded that finding a good ‘ole, grade-A American slice of woman ain’t easy, so when you catch her, hold onto her with love and respect. Similarly, in a society full of some seriously ADD-level attention spans, it is important to be in it for the “Long Haul.” The beautifully hopeful ballad “2 Places At 1 Time” is a clear stand-out track, and the wish of many a musician who desires to complete the physically impossible and place himself in two places at one time (That is home and the road, for those not paying attention).
There is room for everyone at the “Family Table,” a loving homage to gathering together in praise of the Lord, food, and family. Plus, there is one killer fiddle solo! Another stand-out is the new Father’s Day anthem for 2017, “My Old Man,” a moving tribute to having a dad, being a dad, and the touching connection between memories made as both. It is just lovely! Injecting something feisty and fresh into their music, Zac Brown Band move toward a bit of Salsa flavor on “Start Over,” a song about the importance of couples taking the time to get away from it all and fall in love again. This is a delicious summer anthem, complete with Corona references and a fun sing-along session.
Bringing all his love from Georgia, Brown pays tribute to a much-beloved lady in “Your Majesty.” It is a lovely little ode to a lady friend that segues flawlessly into “Trying To Drive,” a duet with fellow Georgian Aslyn about learning to co-pilot within a relationship. Album closer “All The Best” features the incomparable Kacey Musgraves on a song about wishing love and happiness to an ex. One of the album’s best tracks, this is a beautifully moving, acoustic ballad and the perfect note to end upon.
Welcome Home is a lovely album about relationships,being on the road, and finding a balance between the two as a touring musician. Zac Brown Band break no new ground here, though they possess stellar musicianship and are highly likeable in their approach to Pop-flavored Country and Folk music. You can feel the smile in Brown’s voice as he sings about his family, be they together at the table or miles apart. That happiness is infectious, and for this reason, CrypticRock gives Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home 4 of 5 stars.