The Zac Brown Band has many reasons to be excited. The American country band has been up for dozens of nominations for numerous music awards and has won a few along the way, including Best New Artist at the Grammys in 2010, followed by another Grammy in 2011.
Most recently, the band released its third studio album, Uncaged, with which the group sought to experiment with its musical capabilities, and consequently, created a high-quality album.
Fans of the group had a quick glimpse of the album when “The Wind” was released earlier this summer. One of the more romantic songs by the group, the quick pace and clean guitar playing easily attract listeners to the other melodies compiled in the album.
Some songs tackle sounds different from the group’s renowned country tone. “Overnight,” featuring Trombone Shorty begins with an urban-sounding rhythmic introduction leading into an edgy, catchy harmony with the presence of horns and a keyboard.
American songwriter Jason Mraz left his footprint with the group when they collaborated on “Jump Right In” with the inclusion of bongo drums and a pace that bounces around throughout the song, creating a number that’s more entertainment-bound. Another experimental track, “Island Song,” creates a rather enjoyable track as Caribbean and Jamaican roots invite the listener to have some fun, making it the ideal track for spending time on an island beach.
The group invited additional collaborations for tracks on the album, including “The Day that I Die,” in which American songwriter Amos Lee sings with Zac Brown about the passion songwriting stirs inside musicians. “Cause I believe that I / Was born with a song inside of me. / Never question why, I just keep on singing that melody.”
This theme continues in the beach-sounding and harmonious “Lance’s Song” and in the album’s title track, “Uncaged,” a rock song about seizing every opportunity that comes around in life. “Gonna take every chance I’m given. … / Freedom is a gift, get livin. … / You got to get uncaged.”
The pace throughout the album varies, including the slow-paced “Goodbye in Her Eyes,” the album’s longest track and one of the few songs about romance on the album. “Natural Disaster,” another slow-paced song with a powerful and pronounced drumbeat, examines not necessarily romance but the physical and psychological characteristics of a female. It specifically appreciates the rebels, visible in the chaos of the female character in the song.
Unfortunately, although the group expresses creativity with its sounds, the tight musical fusion doesn’t always translate to their lyrics, which become repetitive at times throughout the song. But the final track, “Last But Not Least,” does offer more thought-provoking lyrics: “I put it all together / When I found that missing piece. / You were the last / But you’re not the least.”
The final track also includes charming violin, giving it a majestic sound that, if carried over into their next album, could make Zac Brown Band a supreme-sounding and achieving musical group.
4 out of 5 stars