The Zac Brown Band delivers a divine dose of something you might call “country-plus” on their latest album, “You Get What You Give.” It’s rooted with a traditional country twang, but the band has the musical smarts to keep it from feeling routine.
The charm lies in the experimental nature that Zac Brown isn’t afraid of. The lead singer and guitarist has range to his vocals as well as the composition of the songs that moves beyond standard country fare.
“No Hurry” is the most lovable track on the album. Life comes at you, constantly, from all angles, but Brown and his Atlanta-based crew implore you to settle down and watch a sun set every now and then. It’s not as sappy as it might have been, and Brown sings it like he means it.
“Whiskey’s Gone” is a fastpaced song with some quick fiddling and picking. It shows that the band can play loose but stay tight at the same time. You can feel the fun they’re having on this track, and everyone gets a few solo licks in for good measure.
If there’s an Achilles heel to the Zac Brown approach, it’s pinning your winnings on the notion that the standard country approach is both stale and stalled. Too much experimenting and they risk rejecting their base. Not enough and they’ll be accused of playing it safe.
Thankfully, the band has an answer on “You Get What You Give.” Do a lot of both and do it very well. With that in mind, they’ve easily put out one of the best country albums of the year.