Before you can say anything: YES! this is a current event. I mean, the CD just came out on Monday – so it’s really pretty current and it means I have had time to digest the CD numerous times (you can just ask my mother about this one). Anyone that knows me, knows that I get into ruts where I listen to the same thing over and over again – be it an entire CD/album or a specific song. And anyone that knows me, knows that my music world revolves around country music with the occasional appearance by something else. Also, just in case you do not want to read the entire entry (since it’s going to be a long one): GO BUY THIS CD – IT IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!
I am not always the best fan that you can have. I do not always buy CDs (instead opting to listen to specific songs on youtube/spotify/grooveshark/etc or obtaining an illegal copy – in that my brother will buy the CD and let me put it on my computer). I do not always attend shows (how can I with my non-existent income and bad location?). But when I really love something or someone, I pay attention. Not in the stalkerish way – I mean, I just found out this weekend that Jake Owen has a twin brother (which I find infinitely cool because I also have a twin brother), but in an I buy the music, play the CD, pimp it all out to friends. I also try and convince my friends that they should come to the concert with me (but for some reason the great art of country music is lost on many of my friends).
All of that being said, as a belated birthday to Jake Owen (and his twin brother!), I would like to write a review of his latest CD “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” (Side note: I’m not sure how this benefits his twin brother, so if anyone has an idea for a birthday gift I could give to him, please let me know) I have to make a few more confessions before I begin. First, I do not have any type of musical background. Yes, I sing in my church choir and I sang in chorus during high school. Yes, I played violin when I was younger and I tried to be a music teacher for a month last December. But I have no real musical background. So, this is based purely on my selfish taste in music and what I think, not on any real musical technicality or anything like that. Second, I was not asked to write this by anyone. You may have noticed that my blog this week has kind of veered from the “average” you might expect within my categories and there is a reason for that which will be revealed on Friday. I am doing this out of the kindness of my heart because it is a way that I can promote the album and hopefully get more people to buy it. Third, I selfishly hope that when I tweet this article, Jake Owen might actually read it…because how cool would that be and I missed the opportunity yesterday to have him call me when he posted to Twitter and I want him to know what I think of the album. (Another side note: I could have maybe had him call me today – he has been calling fans that leave their number on twitter, but didn’t want to put my number out in twitterland so will instead send him a link to this rambling blog). So, I apologize for the non-technicality of my writing and if you don’t want to read further know that YOU HAVE TO GO AND BUY THIS CD. If that is all you get from this entry, go out and buy it immediately. It is fantastic and I have had it on repeat since I bought it. Also, one more side note before I begin (this is the last one, I promise): I apologize for all the fangirl comments I am going to make (I am really 24 years old, not some teeny bopper adolescent), but I would never make these comments in real life probably…so I’m putting them down here because maybe it will at least make some people laugh 🙂
So, here goes, my official review of the CD: (If you would like to listen to the CD as you read my review, you can listen to it fully on AOL Listening Party here: please note that this link will only go to the Jake Owen CD for the rest of the week – they roll out new releases every week, and if it doesn’t go exactly the Jake Owen one, scroll through and click on it)
I would like to begin by saying that I was looking forward to buying this CD because of the lead single “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” I love the song and as soon as I heard it I was jamming along to it without any problem. Upon further inspection, I found that Jake had not written all of the songs on the album, like he had his previous two albums (both of which I have and love). I do not fault him for this and I think he has put together a great compilation of songs (and besides, if he doesn’t sing the songs, they might never get out there and these songs needed to get out there!)
So, I’m going to do a little blurb on each song, because that’s how I feel like doing this. Like I said before, this entry is going to be long, but hopefully you enjoy it!
Anywhere With You: I really enjoy this song. I like the instrumentals and could definitely see myself rocking out to this song on days when I am a little down. I also kind of like the message. I don’t condone following someone somewhere early on in a relationship to make things work, but if you are in a committed relationship (ie marriage, engagement, etc.), I think it’s sweet to say that you would go anywhere with the person and the view would still be great because you’re with them.
Keepin’ It Country: This, to me, is a great country patriotic anthem. He lists many different places that span the US and thanks people everywhere for keeping it country. I can imagine that many people that aren’t into country might not like it very much, but it kind of talks about how we are all connected: “It doesn’t matter where you are, It’s the same old stripes, the same old stars…” It’s nice to have songs like this, I enjoy them. And I am definitely keeping it country here in upstate NY.
Wide Awake: According to the sticker on the outside of the wrapper, this is going to be one of the singles off of this album. I like this song, but I did have to listen to it once or twice to really enjoy it. It reminds me of a peppier, happier version of Little Big Town’s “Shut Up Train” (and I love that song, so it’s a compliment). And I enjoy the message – it doesn’t feel creepy to me, just that he is thinking about the person and wants to know if they are too…isn’t this just normal? Also has great rock out potential to it!
Barefoot Blue Jean Night: This song was an excellent lead single, especially hitting at the time when it did – during the summer. I love this song because I love to be barefoot and I love the chorus. The chorus can be an anthem for anyone really – because who wants to grow up? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this song, especially if they are a country fan. Great song to rock out to – I do it whenever I hear it, cranking up the radio and belting out the lyrics.
Heaven: Easily my favorite song on the album. Slows the tempo down a little bit, but not a ton, and has really fantastic lyrics. This is one of those songs that I could listen to on an infinite loop and probably never get sick of it. Ever. The piano part to this is really fantastic and I love it. Also, who doesn’t want to go to heaven? With someone that has saved it for someone like them? I imagine myself melting if I were to ever hear this performed live. Also, wish that it were going to be a single (but doesn’t seem that way, according to the sticker).
Apple Pie Moonshine: He brings the tempo back up with this one and I enjoy listening to it. I had to listen to it once before it grew on me. It is, to me, the quintessential summer love song and maybe drinking when you shouldn’t be or drinking more than you should. One of those songs that makes you want to get in an old truck and find some of the apple pie moonshine to take on your next drive – maybe up to heaven?
The Journey Of Your Life: This song makes me smile. I can’t say that I have this type of relationship with any of my grandfathers, but the advice in this song is impeccably true and really makes me so happy. The tempo is definitely slowed down on this one and it would make for a great acoustic piece. I can see this as being a piece that really helps people through some hard times – even if they end up relating it to someone that is not their grandpa. It sends a really great message and is a really fantastic song.
Alone With You: Another of the singles that will be released according to the sticker on the front of the CD and I am happy about this. I love this song and I think it’s absolutely great. My favorite part about this song is we have all been in a situation where we might not be as liked by whomever we like. And maybe it’s not a romantic relationship like this song is talking about, but we can all relate. The other thing I love about this song is it is directed towards a specific gender, so instead of having those generic “girl” terms that a lot of songs that males sing, I can relate to and sing these lyrics without any changing of them. This song was not an instant favorite of mine, like “Heaven”, but it is quick becoming a favorite of mine.
Settin’ The World On Fire: This song makes me pretty happy. It’s a break up song, but it makes it seem pretty happy – like it was one of those relationships that made sense at the time and was really great while it lasted, but then just burns out. I love that the chorus remains the same – with just one word maybe changed – but it always takes on a different meaning based on the verse that precedes it. It really takes the journey of a relationship – from the passionate beginning to the burned out ending to the appreciation that comes from realizing that you are still the same person even after the person that was so important to you left.
Nobody Feelin’ No Pain: This song had to definitely grow on me – and it still is. It is probably my least favorite song, but I am really starting to like it. I would say that this song is probably the most progressive. It is definitely a GREAT rock out song and I know that I definitely will be rocking out to it. It is a great party song and covers just about every situation you can imagine happening on spring break. If I still had a spring break left in me, this would definitely become a theme song. There is a speaking part (about halfway through) that I don’t know will ever grow on me, but my favorite part of the song follows that. “No whistle, no foul. No real harm done.” I also love the backing female vocals that go along in this song. It definitely grows on me a little bit each time I hear it.
The One That Got Away: The final of the four songs listed on the sticker as one of the singles. And of the four listed, this might be the one that I think has the potential to do the best on radio. This song has great instrumentals, but I also think that it would make a great acoustic song in a setting that called for an acoustic show. And all of us, once we hit an age, know how it feels to let someone go that we weren’t ready for or to not realize the potential of a relationship for any variety of reasons.
So there it is. My review of the album. I know that it is long and if you actually read through all of it, I appreciate it. I really do hope that you go out and get the album – it’s fantastic and I’m sure that my review doesn’t do it justice. There isn’t a song on this album that I don’t like after letting a few of the songs grow on me (and I need to let that happen, it’s the way that I am).
Also, I have seen Jake in concert and he puts on a great show. I am going to see him again at the New York State fair on Monday (9/5) and will definitely post about it, I’m sure. I hope that all of you find a time to go and see him at a show – I believe he’s on tour with Keith Urban right now (in addition to doing a few small shows of his own) and although I haven’t seen Keith live, I’ve heard he puts on a really great show.
*Final note to Jake (just in case he does read this ;0D): Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re music is fantastic and you have put together a great album. Look for me and my sign at the state fair (know that I read the liner notes: your hint as to what might be on my sign), I’ll be camping out from very early in the day so will hopefully be in the front row (any fans reading that might want to join me, let me know, I think I’m going alone). I’m so excited for the show!
Have you gotten this CD or heard it? What do you think? What is your favorite song? Your least favorite song? GO OUT AND BUY THIS CD – it is fantastic!!!