A country veteran by now, Eric Church is a force to be reckoned with. Church’s fifth studio album, The Outsiders, a follow up to 2013’s Caught in the Act is innovative, creative, and emotionally deep for the country star with a “bad boy” reputation. After listening to The Outsiders, even someone who is not typically a country fan can truly say that Church pushes outside of the country music stereotypes of “beer, girls, and trucks” while still keeping that classic country theme.

Though this album can obviously be declared as pure country, Church pushes outside his comfort zone a bit. The Outsiders title track was completely unpredictable – starting out slow and weary, it bursts into a rock and country anthem of declaring Church’s obvious “bad boy” image, with lyrics like “We’re the ones they told you to run from” and “Who we are; we’re walking that walk.” It was a perfect opening track because it grabbed the listener’s attention and had me clicking the next button. “The Outsiders” doesn’t predict the entire album, though.

The rest of the album is completely diverse – from the top of the album to the end, Church takes the traditional country stylings and modernizes them. A lot of the songs have a “rock” feel, even the softer ones, like the last track, “Joints.” Church is definitely pushing limits with this record. This album could definitely be considered a lovechild of rock and roll and country. If anyone can take chances and push boundaries in day where it’s dangerous to do so, it’s Eric Church.

I advise not only country fans but also all music fans to listen to this album. It’s catchy, enthralling, and enticing.

Rating: 8/10

Written by Catherine Powell

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