‘They’re the in-crowd, we’re the other ones. It’s a different kind of cloth that we’re cut from’, declares Eric Church at the beginning of his latest single The Outsiders. To whom Church is referring when he says the ‘in-crowd’, I’m not exactly sure. However, if for the purpose of this review we take it as meaning the current mainstream in country music, I certainly agree with the statement.
I don’t really mean to weigh in here on the debate over what constitutes ‘real’ country, but a great deal of the music being made under the banner these days sounds like nothing more than vapid pop with a bit of banjo in the background. When listening to The Outsiders, however, I spend no time deliberating over where Church’s allegiances lie.
That typical country vocal twang sits above some restrained guitar comping to kick the tune off. The effects applied to the guitar situates The Outsiders firmly in the contemporary from the get-go, however other elements of the track certainly hark back to some other large-scale acts of the past – not necessarily country acts though. The studio-contrived crowd participation in the chorus, for example, gives the song a stadium largeness of the kind I associate with some of AC/DC’s work.
The Outsiders, which surely has the capacity to rile up a crowd, is certain to become a compulsory component of Eric Church’s live repertoire, and of this fact there is a sly hint in the instrumental outro – there is a brief bit of guitar soloing that’s rather Freebird-esque, and I’m sure Church would love it if people were jokingly bellowing requests for his track at rock concerts for the next 30 years.
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::: Renowned For Sound Music Reviews ::: Ben is a 21-year-old student whose taste in music consists of tunes that make him see things. Music for him is a very visual experience; a song has succeeded when it transports the listener somewhere. This is a quality Ben hopes to articulate in writing music reviews for RenownedForSound.com.
Ben capped off his school days at a Sydney high school catering specifically for the musically inclined, but now must balance his musical cravings with university study. To satisfy these cravings, Ben has played guitar in a few groups of differing styles but is often most contented just tinkering with the blues.