Friday, June 27, 2014

Zac Brown Band "All Alright" Single Review

     Zac Brown and his boys are one of the brightest of stars in mainstream country music.  They frequently put out music that is very commercial, yet deeply rooted in soul and tradition.  They know how to write a song that pushes the genre forward while staying true to its roots.  All this from a band who considers themselves more of a southern rock band than an actual country band.  When the boys got together with rock & roll legend and Foo Fighters front-man Dave Grohl, the results were very intriguing.  One of the songs from the Dave Grohl produced EP is their current single, "All Alright".    It's another shining example of the artistic prowess that the Zac Brown Band exudes.

     On paper, the pairing of these two musical giants seems odd.  But, when you really look into it, it makes perfect sense.  The Zac Brown Band has always called themselves a southern rock band at heart, and Dave Grohl is rock and roll royalty from his work with the Foo Fighters and Nirvana.   Together, they share a love for music that is cunning and sophisticated throughout, not just commercial and catchy.  "All Alright" is a perfect example of that love.  The song combines elements of modern country, rock and roll, jazz, and even some gospel to create a song that defies every genre, yet defines each one as well.  It has soulful harmonies, blazing guitars, and brilliant musical progressions that can appeal to any fan of well-put-together music.

     Several members of the band were in on writing this song, including Zac, Jimmy DeMartini, John Driskell Hopkins, and some outside of the band, Wyatt Durrette and Eric Church.  It is interesting to see Eric on the co-write, yet not surprising.  The song's progressive approach and aggressive sound fits right in the Eric Church mold.  The lyrics are full of regret and sadness, along with some great metaphors throughout to create a intriguing listening experience.  Add that to the blusey guitar and gospelesque vocals by Zac Brown and you have a song that hits on all cylinders.

     "All Alright" isn't your daddy's country.  This is very articulate, well-produced art that encompasses a lot of sounds and styles.  It may fizzle at mainstream radio due to its nuanced indulgences that won't appeal to the party crowd, but those with a good ear will immediately recognize the skill that went into producing this song.  Dave Grohl, you have earned the right to come back to the country music world anytime.  We could use a few more like you to shake up the system and evolve and expand the genre through art, not trend-chasing.  "All Alright" is a great single by a great band.  Hats off to Zac Brown and the rest of the band!

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