Jake Owen returns with his fourth album, Days of Gold, and it is full of that classic country music life and energy. The 12-track collection is Owen’s first release since 2011’s Barefoot Blue Jean Night and adding to his previous couple of records in Easy Does It and Startin’ With Me.
Days of Gold is a fine example of why Owen was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the American Country Awards last year. It is the kind of album with enough heart, soul and Nashville sound to be a country album but also upbeat and fun enough to be palatable to fans of most genres.
The album offers a mostly relaxed and breezy vibe which is perfectly summed up in the track Beachin’, which is one of the record’s highlights. Days of Gold discusses classic musical topics of interest including drinking, women and relationships and does it in a fresh way.
Another highlight of the album is the fun and catchy 1972, referencing Rock & Roll icons including The Rolling Stones and nostalgically suggesting we live like they did in the 70s (“Let’s kick it like the kids did in 1972”).
The mood drops a little after 1972 with Ghost Town, a typical tale of being haunted by someone who isn’t around anymore. That melancholy mood lingers into Life of the Party, where Owen sings about getting drunk and partying to mask the pain of a break up.
The mood lifts though in Good Timing, a happy little tune about finding someone and having, well, good timing. The following track Tall Glass of Something keeps the party going with its fun, upbeat nature which almost begs to be danced along to.
A country album wouldn’t be complete without a perfect driving song, and for Days of Gold that song comes in the form of Drivin’ All Night. The catchy little number recalls hitting the road to reunite with a holiday flame he met on Spring Break. It’s the perfect driving sing-along song and the one likely to be stuck in your head for hours (“Drivin’ all night/Drivin’ all night/Drivin’ just to hold you for a day”).
The album ends with Sure Feels Right, a feel-good track about taking a chance on someone who may not be good for you, because even though it may be wrong it feels so right. The song was a good choice as a closer as it’s one of the most mainstream friendly songs and will likely be the one to leave the longest-lingering impression.
Days of Gold is a solid collection of tracks which will appeal to fans of many genres with its casual, breezy nature which is still upbeat and catchy enough for mainstream success. It is a good introductory album for those unfamiliar with Jake Owen to have a chance to become acquainted with his effortless style and smooth voice.