BY: HEATHER EVERETT
Eric Church is currently on a level that few performers in the country music industry can reach. In his newest album, “The Outsiders,” Church breaks down the barriers of country music and challenges tradition.
The album opens with the title track, a Metallica-inspired piece that is sung with conviction and empowerment.
“We’re the junkyard dogs/we’re the alley cats/keep the wind at our front/and the Hell at our back.”
Lyrics like this bring out a true sense of who Church is as an artist and detaches him from the usual country twang that his audience is used to.
Over the last two decades, country music has slowly picked up a rock 'n' roll vibe. It is not only Church’s sound that separates him from the typical “bro-country” style that is popular these days. With his aviator glasses and Von Dutch trucker hat, Church markets himself as a modern day outlaw.
He raises that bar even higher in the track “That’s Damn Rock & Roll”, with his power chords similar to the style of AC/DC, whom Church states is an inspiration to him as an artist.
Though the album's overall feel is a metal-rock-funk style, Church adds a gentle touch to a few of his songs to break up the insanity.
In his track “Cold One,” he describes an instance of getting dumped by a woman who swipes one of his drinks and leaves him “one beer short of a twelve pack.” This song relates back to his 2011 hit, “Drink in my Hand,” with a light and carefree vibe.
Another track on the album, “Like a Wrecking Ball,” provides a sexy twist to the classic ballad of a singer on tour writing to their spouse at home. This song is a confession of raw honesty that is not often revealed by Church as an artist and is by far the cleverest track on the album.
Throughout his entire career, Church has played the role of the rebel. His character constantly struggles with temptations and wrestles with decisions. However, in “The Outsiders,” Church is truthful, thrilling, deft, and real. This alone makes him a force to be reckoned with.