Jekyll + Hyde

Jekyll + Hyde

by Zac Brown Band

CD

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Overview

Nearly three years after Uncaged, which won the Grammy for Best Country Album, the Zac Brown Band unveiled the next chapter in their crossover country revolution. Uncaged was distinguished at least in part by the participation of a variety of guests including Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, Trombone Shorty, Jason Mraz, and Amos Lee. Jekyll + Hyde doesn't forgo them altogether, but it does have fewer of them. Instead, ZBB double down on their commitment to deliver as many different kinds of songs as they possibly can. Whereas the Jay Joyce-produced first single, "Homegrown," is characteristic of the band's feel-good, home-and-heart, back-country groove, it's not nearly representative of everything that's here. Opener "Beautiful Drug" may feature a meld of acoustic guitars, banjos, and snare drums, but loops, synths, and a hook straight out of a Katy Perry single govern its flow. "Mango Tree" features Sara Bareilles in a guest performance as it attempts to re-create Nelson Riddle-esque big-band pop swing. It's followed by the rocker "Heavy Is the Head," with Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell in duet with Brown. The metallic guitar is appended by a distorted bassline that comes right from the Geezer Butler playbook. The guest tunes are solid additions, but they're not the best things here. Those honors are reserved for the band's self-written tunes: "Remedy" weds country-gospel to a Celtic reel with multi-part vocal harmonies and finally to modern praise & worship; it's a clear standout. The Caribbean-tinged tunes such as "Loving You Easy," with its Buffett-esque groove wed to retro pop/soul and "One Day," with its sweeping yet earthy fiddle, horns, and stirring backing choruses, are both winners, too. "Tomorrow Never Comes" is almost a big-beat dance number with its ticking loops and electronic blips cutting through a bluegrass stomp. It's bracing in its audacity. Jason Isbell's poignant "Dress Blues" is more straightforward, wedding folk and pop-country in a poignant lyric about a fallen marine; the arrangement juxtaposes a gently whining pedal steel with an elegiac, languid fiddle. "Junkyard," a song about child abuse, is a slow, angry country-rocker with fat, muddy basses and guitars, and a Celtic interlude with drum loops that adds drama and tension before the tempo explodes. "I'll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)" is heartfelt, island-tinged folk-country. Its closing chorale is straight out of the Southern church. It should have closed the album, because "Widlfire" feels like filler and an acoustic version of "Tomorrow Never Comes" was unnecessary because it adds to the set's already unwieldy, hour-plus length. The only other nick is that the set's production is overly bright. These are niggling complaints, however. The stylistic range of Jekyll + Hyde proves that ZBB's reach is almost limitless, and this set will more than likely delight the group's legions of fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/28/2015
Label: Republic
UPC: 0602547272676
catalogNumber: 002296202
Rank: 10293

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zac Brown Band   Primary Artist
Jewel   Vocals
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica,Bass Harmonica
Chris Cornell   Vocals
John Cowan   Choir, Chorus
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Barry Green   Trombone,Horn Section
Jim Hoke   Flute,Tenor Saxophone,Horn Section
Byron House   Acoustic Bass
Jay Joyce   Percussion
Randy Leago   Baritone Saxophone,Horn Section
Darrell Scott   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Banjolin
Rick Jones   Choir, Chorus
Vinnie Ciesielski   Trumpet,Horn Section
John Hinchey   Trombone,Horn Section
Jason Eskridge   Choir, Chorus
Daniel de los Reyes   Percussion
Steve Herman   Trumpet,Horn Section
Clay Cook   Piano,Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Ukulele,Vocals,Clavinet,Mellotron,fender rhodes,national steel guitar
Matt Mangano   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Sarah Dugas   Choir, Chorus
Odessa Settles   Choir, Chorus
Zac Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Sara Bareilles   Vocals
Donald Dunlavey   Electric Guitar
Coy Bowles   Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Guitar (Resonator)
Jimmy de Martini   Strings,Violin,Cello,Vocals
Maureen Murphy   Choir, Chorus
John Driskell Hopkins   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Vocals,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Chris Fryar   Percussion,Drums
Mike McGoldrick   Wood Flute,uillean pipes,Low Whistle
Ben Simonetti   Trumpet
Niko Moon   Vocals

Technical Credits

Anderson   Composer
Roger Waters   Composer
Jim Hoke   Producer,Horn Arrangements
Jay Joyce   Programming,Producer
Kyle Lehning   Engineer
Darrell Scott   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Keb' Mo'   Composer
Danny Clinch   Art Direction
Kenny J. Gravillis   Art Direction,Layout
Cee Lo Green   Producer
Anthony Ruotolo   Engineer
Rich Robinson   Composer
Jason Hall   Engineer
Clay Cook   Composer
Matt Mangano   Composer
Jason Isbell   Composer
Sarah Dugas   Composer
Amos Lee   Composer
Zac Brown   Composer,Programming,Producer,Art Direction
Tom Syrowski   Engineer
Rebecca Wood   Studio Personnel
Christian Dugas   Composer
Eric Church   Composer
Coy Bowles   Composer
Liz Rose   Composer
Brandon Bell   Engineer
Wyatt Durrette   Composer
Jimmy de Martini   Composer
John Driskell Hopkins   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
John Varvatos   Art Direction,Layout
Sean Phelan   Engineer
Ben Simonetti   Programming,Engineer
Niko Moon   Composer,Programming
Anna Harwood   Composer

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