Not the ZBB I ‘used to know’

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Matt Travia

Zac Brown Band sure is leaving something behind — an album that is quite different compared to their other hit albums. 

Following up on their “Welcome Home” album which was released in 2017, Zac Brown Band’s new album, “The Owl,” takes a whole new leap from their previous works. The short album is an interesting 37 minutes as listeners will try to figure out what is going on. 

The new album, “The Owl,” was released on Sept. 20, where the band decided to bring a new style of music to the album. It all started when one of their singles “Someone I Used to Know” was released in early November of 2018, a song that had some help from Shawn Mendes. The song brings more of a pop style to it and sets the pathway for the album to be completely different from their other albums. 

The beloved band decided to leave their country roots and tried to be more pop. Although it may add diversity to their style of music, this album does not do them justice. The entire album has 11 new songs, with one of their songs featuring Brandi Calile. 

The band tried to do something similar with their album that came out in 2015 called “JEKYLL+HYDE,”  where they incorporated other elements of music that weren’t country. The album had elements of pop and rock, but was still noticeably country with including hit songs such as “Homegrown.” 

Lead singer, Zac Brown, tried branching out to explore new music in 2016. He would form a side band well known as Sir Roosevelt. This band was  pop based with only one studio album being released. The band was an ultimate bust and didn’t receive the recognition or popularity as expected.  

Nobody can blame Brown for wanting to show his diversity of music; he wants to show that he is more than just a country star, which is totally respectable. For this album, it isn’t a good start with too much happening with each song. It is kind of like he is incorporating the diversity of music genres with every song. 

“God Given” is an example of different music genres being represented in one song. The song shows a mixture of pop, rap, country and even a bit of rock. In the beginning of the song, it gives a weird pop feeling, then it goes straight into a rapping verse. There is even one part of the song where there is a violin solo. Too much is happening and it gives listeners a tough time to get a real vibe of what the band is trying to do with the song and this is done with multiple songs too. 

However, there are some songs featured on the album where being diverse worked out, such as songs like “Someone I Used to Know.” Although this song is mainly a pop song, there are no other incorporations of other styles of music being done. There’s no confusion of different genres being shown, it’s a good pop song that is simple to understand.

Then there is the song, “Leaving Love Behind,” which truly shows why Zac Brown Band is such a great band. The song isn’t an up beat good feeling song like “Chicken Fried,” but the song shows what a classic Zac Brown Band song is like. No pop or EDM style is being incorporated into the song, it’s just a good country feel song. This song shows the original roots of Zac Brown Band and it’s probably going to be the most loved song on the album by most fans. 

Zac Brown Band has laid down the foundation for their style of music for many years and it has been a huge success for them. This album was a true start to see if the band can expand their style of music. It’s unclear what the band will try to do in the future, but hopefully they go back to their old ways.

 

2.5/5