Zac Brown Band - “The Owl” Album Review

Story posted September 24, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment by William Roche.

If there’s a band who takes risks, it is the Zac Brown Band. Ten or so years ago, they started off as a definite country band. The fiddle, guitars, and lyrics all check off what it takes to be a country band. With their most known song “Chicken Fried,” still being the one that fans love to hear, they have strayed far from what they started off as. However, over the past few albums the Zac Brown Band has been changing the way they are labeled. With their newest album “The Owl,” the band has blends of country, rock, pop, and songs with heavy bass and little to no essence of what makes them a country band.

With the first three tracks on the album, the listener goes through a blend of pop country. A new sub-genre of country that is either turning listeners away or gaining new listeners. “The Woods,” “Need This,” and “OMW” are the best examples of this. The audience knows more than a guitar went into producing these songs. The songs being very bass heavy makes the audience want to dance (or maybe tap their foot). Out of these songs, the lyrics seem to be there, even if they do tend to become repetitive.

Some of the more stand out tracks geared towards the true country listener rather than pop are “Someone I Used to Know,” “Me and the Boys in the Band,” and “Finish What We Started.” Set in the middle of the album, they distance the listener from the pop for a moment and push them towards songs that the band could jam to in concert.

With “Me and the Boys in the Band” being one of the longer songs on the album, it is easy to picture the band getting carried away (in the best way possible) and playing this song often. “Finish What We Started,” with a feature from Brandi Carlile, the listener has a brief moment of clarity for them to listen to the lyrics and understand the work that went into the lyrics and production.

At the end of “Leaving Love Behind,” the audience will hear the difference of who the band is now and who they used to be. They are creative, talented, and not afraid to change up styles. However, the songs are catchy and fans are sure to listen to whatever the band puts out. The cookie cutter lyrics and repetitive “pop” beats will not resonate in a few years when the band continues to put out music. Hopefully, they are not putting out albums just for the sake of it.

Whatever the case, the Zac Brown Band is known for their excellent shows, they are now a staple in the summer concert series. Covering artists in their shows from Dave Matthews to Billy Joel, the band likes to keep their fans on their toes. It is clear that listeners should expect many more projects from them in the future.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “OMW” and “God Given”

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Someone I Used to Know” and “Me and the Boys in the Band”


William Roche is a junior majoring in film/video. To contact him, email