Skip to main content

Eric Church - Desperate Man Music Album Reviews

A year after headlining a night of the tragic Route 91 Harvest festival, the popular country renegade forgoes the obvious references on one of the most modest but poignant albums of his career.

Three days after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival last year in Las Vegas, Eric Church debuted “Why Not Me.” He wrote the song in tribute to Sonny Melton, one of the 58 people murdered that October night. Melton had gone to Route 91 to see Church, something the singer learned when he saw Sonny’s widow, Heather, speaking on CNN. Eric Church wasn’t the only country artist to write about Route 91—Maren Morris also released “Dear Hate”—but Church’s news bulletin of a song speaks to his unique place in the modern country firmament. He is a self-styled maverick who named an album The Outsiders, but his numbers dwarf those of an alt-country renegade like Sturgill Simpson. And he isn’t a purist, instead embracing everything that comes with arena rock, from the volume to the crowds. Church has the artistic and popular credibility, then, to write compassionately about an event that ripped through the country and country music.

Which is why it’s odd that “Why Not Me” isn’t on Desperate Man, the album Church delivered a year after Route 91. The shooting isn’t mentioned even in passing during these swift 36 minutes, nor is the illness of his brother, Brandon, who died just after the album was finished. But Church doesn’t dodge emotions on Desperate Man. He grapples with existential threats on “Monsters,” admitting that true devils lurk inside the head. He swaps confessions for universal feelings, a trick he works with politics, too. Church doesn’t turn a blind eye to the problems plaguing the nation, even if the narrator of “Drowning Man” doesn’t want to think about Lady Liberty turning her back while “Uncle Sam just turns around.” During “The Snake,” the United States’ bitter partisanship is framed as a whataboutism fable; it doesn’t matter which species a copperhead or rattlesnake is, as they all prey on the weak.

“The Snake” is rightly positioned as Desperate Man’s opening track not for its clever extended metaphor or theme but for its swampy aesthetic. Church doesn’t stray far from its thick, steamy vibe throughout these 11 songs, bending other styles to suit this sound instead of vice versa. “Solid” starts as a slice of trippy arena rock, its spacey organ and phased guitars offering a sly nod to Dark Side of the Moon. Church soon steers it back to soul, confirming that the heady prog days of the burly The Outsiders are long gone. Church burrows instead into the Southern funk of 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood, keeping things so lean and spare that it can first seem slight.

Desperate Man doesn’t offer a grand statement of purpose along the lines of Mr. Misunderstood, which gained its power from Church’s ability to self-mythologize as a rebel existing on Nashville’s fringes. This is the sound of a renegade settling into his mature period. He’s trimming away excesses that were once endearing but are now extraneous. Whenever Church wants to rock hard here, he ramps up the rhythms more than he cranks the amps, making music that begs the audience to dance. His ballads are stripped so bare he seems like he’s singing alone. Other elements would distract from his nuanced vocal performances; everything that needs to be here is here.

The songs themselves are strikingly uncluttered, too, containing just enough emotion to give them considerable resonance. Though Church isn’t working through his grief in public, he’s not stoic. The mismatched lovers of “Heart Like a Wheel” make for perhaps the most tender song he’s ever written, while his paean to the connective power of “Hippie Radio” is cut by a bittersweet melodic undercurrent. The deliberate decision not to indulge in a grand gesture—combined with the consciously compact scale of Desperate Man—means this album seems smaller than every record he’s made since 2011’s Chief. That modesty is the key to its very appeal: This is an album designed not for the moment but the long haul.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

Like Fan Page