There are few country artists with a sound as instantly recognizable as Big & Rich. Over the course of their career, the duo has patented a sound that is uniquely its own. Their voices are discernible, their harmonies distinct and their instrumentation genre-bending. Now, Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich are poised to continue that trend with Gravity, their fifth studio album (due out 9/23) and their first release on Big & Rich Records in partnership with Kobalt Label Services.
From the opening strains of romantic first single, “Look At You” to the closing notes of the final song, the raucous party anthem, “I Came to Git Down,” this album is Big & Rich at its finest. Speaking about the endeavor, Big Kenny explains:
“As artists, we are now at the place where we can finally gain complete creative control. That’s huge. It allows us to be true to ourselves and be the trailblazers we’ve always risked being…” he says. “Our new album title is perfect. Big and Rich can now really feel the Gravity. We are counting our blessings.”
There’s a theme within Gravity, a common thread keeping Big & Rich down to earth throughout the tracks, and that’s love. The album reflects a softer side of the oft rocking and rolling renegades, but it’s on those tracks where they shine brightest. For comparison’s sake, the disc is much more “Lost In This Moment” than “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” Gravity provides a roller coaster ride through the stages of love, ranging from euphoria (“Brand New Buzz”) and romantic relief (“Thank God for Pain”) to downtrodden regret (“Lovin’ Lately”) and even delusion (“Don’t Wake Me Up”).
While the entire album is solid, there are clear standouts including “Lovin’ Lately,” a collaboration with Tim McGraw. On the track, McGraw provides haunting harmony, his voice shining through loud and clear on the chorus of the ode to the one that got away and the wondering that comes with a relationship ending. Rather than stalk the ex on Facebook, they sing, “I don’t wanna know, but I gotta know…I don’t wanna know who ya been lovin lately?” This song is a perfect single and we have to wonder (and hope) it’ll be a part of Big & Rich’s “The Gravity Quadrilogy.”
Other highlights include the beautifully haunting “Don’t Wake Me Up” and the broken road track, “Thank God for Pain.” On “Don’t Wake Me Up,” Rich’s voice shines with power, the song a pleading prayer with a woman to let him sleep through her leaving. He’d rather sleep and dream of her next to him than face the reality of saying goodbye. “Thank God for Pain” is a track about finding love in the darkness of a broken relationship. “Thank God for pain cause I never would’ve known that love could feel this way, and I know it sounds insane but thank God for scars,” they sing. “If I hadn’t been ripped apart, I never would’ve kissed your face, Thank God for pain.”
While the album shines on the ballads, there are still some strong up-tempos. “Brand New Buzz” perfectly encapsulates the buzz of a new love in a super catchy, radio friendly piece. “I got a brand new buzz, hits a lot harder than the whiskey does, One shot of ya and youre in my blood, oh and I can’t get enough, wish I could bottle it up, cause now I’m hooked on love, Oh I’ve got a brand new buzz.” Additionally, the album’s final track is “I Came to Git Down,” a raucous ode to a great night ahead. This song should open Big & Rich concerts from now until the end of eternity.
While Big Kenny & John Rich may show their softer sides on Gravity, the album is true to the sound and style that fans have grown to know and love. Whether you’re in a relationship, single or an in “it’s complicated” situation, this album has a track for everyone, truly defying gravity.
1. Look At You
2. Lovin’ Lately (feat. Tim McGraw)
4. Brand New Buzz
5. Rollin Along
6. Run Away With You
7. Lose a Little Sleep
8. Don’t Wake Me Up
9. That Kind Of Town
10. Thank God for Pain
11. I Came to Git Down
Watch Big & Rich’s “Look At You” here!
SAVE THE DATE: We have Big and Rich for a Country Music #CMchat Twitterview on Monday September 29 6-7pmPT (9-10pmET). Hope you will join the conversation.
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