Eric Church The Outsiders
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- Released: February 11, 2014
- Originally Released: 2014
- Label: Capitol
Rolling Stone4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he North Carolina singer-songwriter made a record that's weirder, louder - and even more badass."
Spin"THE OUTSIDERS was indeed among the year's most mold-breaking albums: dabbling in thrashy guitars, woozy brass, demonic bass, and other sounds that you just don't hear on mainstream country LPs..."
Entertainment Weekly"[This is] the still-rising star's most brazen, brilliant disc yet, and the first great album of this year..." -- Grade: A
- 1.The Outsiders
- 2.A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young
- 3.Cold One
- 4.Roller Coaster Ride
- 6.Broke Record
- 7.Like a Wrecking Ball
- 8.That's Damn Rock & Roll
- 9.Dark Side
- 10.Devil, Devil (Prelude: Princess of Darkness)
- 11.Give Me Back My Hometown
- 12.The Joint
Personnel: Eric Church (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, dobro, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, piano, percussion); Jeff Hyde (acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, background vocals); Jay Joyce (electric guitar, piano, pump organ, Wurlitzer organ, omnichord, synthesizer, drums, percussion, sound effects, background vocals); J.T. Corenflos (electric guitar); Lee Hendricks (baritone guitar, percussion, background vocals); Roy Agee, Barry Green (trombone); Craig Wright (drums, percussion, background vocals); Matthew Wheeler, Jason Hall , Jason Sellers, Joanna Cotton (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jay Joyce.
Recording information: St. Charles, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: John Peets.
Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn't give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel. He sings about his "Dark Side" and the Devil, murmurs ominously about "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young," winks a double entendre about "The Joint," and declares "That's Damn Rock & Roll," a provocative statement from a singer who is nominally country but loves to strut with a heavy metal swagger. Church brings on the thunder with "The Outsiders," a galumphing rallying cry that's intended as a middle finger to all those cheerful bros in tight-fitting jeans who sing songs about trucks set to a hip-hop beat. He may sneer at those good-looking suburban country dudes riding the top of the charts but Church is a modern man -- he decorates the kiss-off "Cold One" with a skittish electronic funk beat -- who doesn't take a second glance at the past, unless it's to tip a hat to Hank, Hag, Jones, or Waylon or to deliver the slow-burning Southern soul of "Like a Wrecking Ball." Contrary to the bluster of "The Outsiders" and "That's Damn Rock & Roll," Church doesn't follow the macho straight and narrow on The Outsiders. Surely, he never disguises his masculine side but sings sweetly, too, and he indulges in detours, the craziest being the prog pomposity of the eight-minute suite "Devil, Devil (Prelude: Princess of Darkness)." Most of all, he takes strides to paint himself as the heir apparent to workingman's hero Bruce Springsteen, going so far as to write an anthem to dying middle-class America called "Give Me Back My Hometown." Designed to be a set closer at arenas across the U.S., it delivers the requisite fireworks but Church possesses a sly eye for detail that humanizes his broad strokes, a necessary counterpoint to songs that are otherwise outsized. This shift toward the epic -- present throughout The Outsiders but not always dominating the tone -- is a real shift for Church, who has otherwise specialized in songs that are a little simpler. Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country, and if he doesn't quite knock it out of the park when he swings for the fences, he nevertheless scores. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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