Zac Brown Band – Uncaged (2012)
Taking from the old adage, “If it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it," Zac Brown Band releases their third album Uncaged last week. While a big ZBB fan, this album could have just as easily been called You Get What You Give 2.0.
Melodically and rhythmically structured, the songs on this album are very similar to those that can be found on their Sophomore album You Get What You Give. Track #01, “Jump Right In” is a great classic ZBB song. It has a nice island beat and breezy vibe and is easily a back yard chair and corona type of song. Track #02, “Uncaged” takes us on a familiar pipe organ ride & heavy guitar riffs. Its light on lyrics but strong on harmonies. Track #03, Goodbye In Her Eyes” shows the emotional side of ZBB that we’ve come to know and love through other songs such as “Highway 20 Ride." Track #04, “The Wind” is the quintessential ZBB jam song; finger picking, a bluegrass beat and the lone cry of a fiddle complete what has made this band’s noncommercial songs so fun! Track #05, “Island Song” gets a little off course from the regular sounds we’ve previously heard. While the concept of a Jamaican Island song isn’t out of the ordinary, the Jamaican accent in which he slips into and the cheesy lyrics make me believe that he called this one in. Tracks # 06, “Sweet Annie”, #07 Natural Disaster & #09 “Lance’s Song” are all slow ballads that again, are reminiscent or previously recorded songs such as “Martin” and “As She’s Walking Away," both of which can be found on the “You Get What You Give” album. Track #08, “Overnight” isn’t your typical ZBB song. It’s a sax solo away from an 80’s Hall & Oats hit. A “Theme From Shaft” base line and some intrinsic horns makes this song very out of place while resting between two emotional ballads.
While enlisting the large names and voices of Jimmy Buffett & Alan Jackson in his sophomore album, he keeps this album pretty low key with outside influences. All in all, it’s nothing more than just a slightly above average studio album. I’d recommend it for the ZBB fan that enjoys the fun side of the music and the great musicians. For the typical fan, I’d say save your money and put in one of his other CD’s, it’ll be just about the same. The truth will be in album # 4 to see if he can tap into some new ideas and influences.
Next week’s review: Kenny Chesney: Welcome to the Fish Bowl