Zac Brown band’s third release, “Uncaged” is an interesting work. While this record does have some of the same feel of the band’s 2008 debut, “The Foundation”, it goes in a slightly different direction. What it tries to do is mix the sounds of its previous two releases into one full album. It’s not the worst album that the band has released. But it isn’t the best, either. Regardless, it still has enough firepower to make it a fun listen.
The album opens very strongly with the song, ‘Jump Right In.’ The drums and whistles instantly conjure thoughts of Rio de Janeiro’s famed Carnival festival. The song goes straight into the Jimmy Buffet song style that has made the Zac brown band so popular. It’s just as uplifting lyrically as it is musically. Brown sings in the song’s chorus, “You can jump right in/let the music pull you in/You can jump right in/Oh, lose yourself again/as the southern wind sings again/another lullaby.” Simply put, this song is just a feel good song. It’s about letting go of the worries of the world and simply having a good time every now and then. It makes for a wonderful opening to this new album.
‘Jump Right In’ is followed by a song that is just as solid in the album’s title track. While it’s just as solid a song, its general feel is quite different from ‘Jump Right In.’ This track has more of an Allman Brothers Band feel. The use of the organ and the guitar work gives the song that feel. And from the opening verse, listeners get more positive vibe. Zac sings as the song opens, “Gonna drift to the great wide open/gonna set my spirit free/won’t stop till I reach the ocean/gonna break these chains all in me.” The song’s second verse is just as uplifting. He sings on verse two, “Gonna swim in the coldest river/gonna drink from a mountain spring/Live in the land of the great wide open/let the water roll all over me.” The remainder of the song carries that same uplifting vibe. Both musically and lyrically, it will get any listener moving.
The band kicks into a bluegrass vibe after these two songs in the album’s fourth track, ‘The Wind.’ Brown picks with the best of them in this song. Rather than being one of the standard country style songs of lost love, Brown pays tribute to a very special woman. He sings in this song, “Where the wind blows baby/you can bet/I’ll be ridin’ high with it/holdin’ on for my dear life just like I always did/Close yoru eyes babe/take a breath/say my name/and I’ll be there/My love will find you anywhere/anywhere, my love.” The guitar breaks and musical backing in general make this one of the album’s top songs. It would be no surprise if this song becomes one of the album’s singles.
Fans of ZBB in North Carolina will take pride knowing that “Uncaged” was recorded in the old north state. It was recorded at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording. Among the big name artists and bands that have recorded at Echo Mountain are the likes of: Dierks Bentley, Darkest Hour, Soilwork, Smashing Pumpkins, and T. Bone Burnett, just to name a handful. The studio’s list of who has recorded there is far longer.
“Uncaged” is available in stores and online now. The band is currently touring in support of the album. Fans in North Carolina will get to see the band live when it makes a stop at Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Fans can keep up with all the latest news and tour dates from Zac Brown band online in the meantime at http://www.zacbrownband.com, http://www.facebook.com/zacbrownband, and http://twitter.com/zacbrownband.
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