From the opening strums of Give Me Back My Hometown, it is apparent that Eric Church has epitomised every cliché that we associate with country; the whine-fully toned vocal, the story telling lyrics, and the repetitive rhythms. So far so boring, you may think. However there is something about it that changes around the forty second mark; a sneak preview of the chorus, toned down so as not to ruin the suspense, acting as what could be considered a musical twinkle in Church’s eye.
The radio friendly country-pop the North Carolina native crafts somehow manages to satisfy both the the country die-hards and those who are more chart oriented, with Church winning multiple Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards and being nominated for Grammy Awards in both 2012 and 2013. Give Me Back My Hometown is the second song revealed from his fourth album The Outsiders, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to the later work of British man-band Take That and the solo work of their chief songwriter Gary Barlow. Combine that with lyrics that tug on the heart strings (if we mentally erase that reference to Pizza Hut…) and we also feel Church’s country-pop contemporaries Lady Antebellum come into play, with the music of Give Me Back My Hometown rising to atmospheric proportions towards the culmination of the song.
Having already achieved a number one album with his third release Chief, Church will be hoping to replicate its success when The Outsiders is released later in the year, and given the broad, crossover appeal of songs such as Give Me Back My Hometown, he will have little trouble at all.
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