Are you a fan of the Zac Brown Band? Then you’re almost sure to love the band’s newest album Uncaged, as it contains that signature ZBB sound but with even more musical maturity. It’s fun, it’s dynamic. And it’s exactly what you want coming through the speakers on your drive to the beach (or anywhere fun) this summer.
As the bandmembers tell us in a video about the making of the album, they really were “uncaged” on this record. “It’s got a little bit of happy, a little bit of groove,” says Zac. “You might even want to make a baby in the middle of the record.”
The album has several pieces that are reminiscent of the islander ambience of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney. The album kicks off with “Jump Right In,” which calls listeners to Lose yourself again/ As the Southern wind sings again another lullaby. “Island Song” has an overt reggae influence, and for those who love a good tune for partying by the water, it’s filled with calls to the bottle. And in “Uncaged,” there is mention of the ocean, but the song is more of a celebration of being free.
“Goodbye In Her Eyes” and “Sweet Annie” continue with Zac Brown’s tradition of heartfelt songs of complicated or lost love—like “Highway 20 Ride” and “Colder Weather.” While “Goodbye In Her Eyes” is has more of a pop influenced sound, “Sweet Annie” is especially rich with vocal harmonies, giving it a heavy bluegrass feel. The song is an apology to a lover for all the time the singer spends away from home. Sweet Annie/Can I stay with you a while/Cause this road’s been putting miles on my heart/Sweetheart I been livin’ in a fantasy.
The band shows its affinity for blending genres as well. Zac Brown joins up with New Orleans jazz artist Trombone Shorty to create a sexy jam with “Overnight.” The band demonstrates its versatility here, as it shows a knack for the groovy, trumpet-accented tune. The other guest track, “Day That I Die,” features singer-songwriter Amos Lee. The song is an expression of feeling born to play and being uncompromising in that dream. And while I live out my days until the very end/ You can find me in my home with my guitar in my hands.
“Lance’s Song” asks listeners to live while they can and to live right, because We’re all here a-waiting for our silver invitation to the big band in the sky.
Uncaged does not disappoint. It’s inspirational at times, a little sad in other places, but it can get sexy, too. You’re almost guaranteed to find something in here you like.
Uncaged track listing:
1. Jump Right In
3. Goodbye In Her Eyes
4. The Wind
5. Island Song
6. Sweet Annie
7. Natural Disaster
8. Overnight (Feat. Trombone Shorty)
9. Lance’s Song
10. Day That I Die (Feat. Amos Lee)
11. Last But Not Least
If you have a Spotify account, you can stream Uncaged in its entirety.
- Alex Stegall/The New 103.7 Charlotte