I don’t know what I just heard, but I liked it. Jekyll & Hyde, the redeeming new album from award winning Zac Brown Band, is the perfect epitome of country crossover.
I have to truly believe that country music now has to return to a more traditional sound based simply on the fact that no one else will be able to so definitively navigate the blurred genre lines of late up to par with Zac Brown.
And not a moment too soon. After the ill received Uncaged of 2012 and a bit of controversy with Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, Zac needed a miracle just to get back to zero. Well, Jekyll & Hyde has not only caught him up, but sling shotted him way ahead of the lion’s share of his contemporaries. As well as placing him amongst the few and the proud who have monumentally impacted country music.
This record takes us through pop, swing, easy listening, various styles of country, rock, metal, island, alternative, and classic. Musical prowess as the Zac Brown Band dances across the backs of critics is evidence of lilting talent. It’s almost as if Zac is saying, “Hey, is this what you want? Everything to be everything?” There are genres for a reason, and as cool as crossovers are, people go to there favorite station to hear their favorite kind of music. This record flies in the face of all that is musically holy!
A few years back Brad Paisley made an exemplary effort for it’s time at breaking away from genre norms with Wheelhouse. As ahead of it’s time as that album was, Jekyll & Hyde expounds on that premise and proves to all music fans that we, the listening public, are the ones to draw lines through our styles and follow them with such perfunctory attitudes.
I must admit that it took me a few songs to discern what was going on with this album but now that I understand the intent and recognize the talent it’s been an essential part of my weekly listening regime. This eclectic cornucopia of originality is worth the price of admission.