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To some modern country artists, the words critics are using to describe Eric Church's third studio album may seem off-putting, but to the trailblazing mutineer and his equally passionate fans, the terms: "strange," "aggressive," "wild," and "rare," couldn't be more complimentary. Church's third studio album, Chief, has been buzzing as the most experiential, head-turning country album of the year.
"I have a theory that all of us [artists] only get a small window of time to make records when people will really listen and care," said Church. "It's up to us to move the needle. People like Waylon and Cash or Garth and Strait,-- they all took the format and said, We're going over here,' and they each changed the direction of the music a little bit-- helping to make it what it is today."
That desire to move the needle is the very reason Church has chosen to use the successes of six Top 20 country singles ("How Bout You," "Two Pink Lines," and "Guys Like Me" from his 2006 critically-acclaimed debut, Sinners Like Me; "Love Your Love The Most," "Hell On The Heart," and "Smoke A Little Smoke" from his sophomore release Carolina) and an ACM Award for New Solo Vocalist of the Year to push the creative envelope even further with Chief. Church took a month off and went to a secluded cabin in North Carolina to reflect and write the entire album which he later recorded in Nashville with producer, Jay Joyce (Patty Griffin, Cage the Elephant), who also produced his previous two releases.
The songs that resulted from the diversion illustrate Church's impressive range and infinite creative canvas. Songs like "Drink in My Hand" and "Hungover & Hard Up," illustrate his ability to connect with a rowdy audience. Other songs like "Springsteen" and "Like Jesus Does," reveal a deeper emotions complemented by sophisticated song structures; and then there's "Homeboy" the provocative lead single and Church's fastest-rising career single to date-- that's already turning heads and causing critics from USA Today and Billboard to champion the release.
The "alive and breathing" feel of the new music inspired Church to name the album, Chief, after a nickname given to his grandfather, and one he has consequently adopted over the years out on the road. "When it's show time, I put on the sunglasses and the hat, and that's how people know it's game time. This album was made from a live place; we recorded it with the live show in mind, so it just seemed right to make that the title," he adds.
With the release of his third studio album, Church hasn't forgotten the true captains of his career his loyal fans. "More than anyone else, we have built are career on the backs of the fans," he says. "We have not had a lot of TV exposure or number one songs, but we have had music that stirs passion, we put on shows that stoke the flames of that passion, and our fans have carried the torch. Our music belongs to them."
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|Audio CD Release Date:||July 26, 2011|
|Number Of Discs:||1|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 216 reviews|
|1. ||Creepin' (Eric Church / Marv Green)|
|2. ||Drink In My Hand (Eric Church, Michael P. Heeney, Luke Laird)|
|3. ||Keep On (Eric Church / Ryan Tyndell)|
|4. ||Like Jesus Does (Casey Beathard / Monty Criswell)|
|5. ||Hungover & Hard Up (Eric Church / Luke Laird)|
|6. ||Homeboy (Eric Church / Casey Beathard)|
|7. ||Country Music Jesus (Eric Church / Jeremy Spillman)|
|8. ||Jack Daniels (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Lynn Hutton)|
|9. ||Springsteen (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Ryan Tyndell)|
|10. ||I'm Gettin' Stoned (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Casey Beathard / Jeremy Cradey)|
|11. ||Over When It's Over (Eric Church / Luke Laird)|
|Average Customer Review: ( 216 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Perfect country album! Jul 26, 2011
By Polar Bear
"Chief" is Eric Church's 3rd studio album and picks up right where he left off with 2009's "Carolina." Church is the master at writing country music that rocks, and his music is the epitome of what every country singer should strive for: great songs, good musicianship, and great lyrics that make you want to sing and dance, have fun, or lament over a broken heart. "Creepin'" is the album's first track and is aptly named. It starts off from a seemingly far away distance and then creeps into a honky-tonk roar. The arrangement and delivery of the song are as unique as it is fun. "Drink In My Hand" can easily become an anthem for any guy looking for a fun night out on the town. "Keep On" features some rock and roll guitar licks that will raise the hairs on the back on your neck. "Homeboy" is the first single from the album and tells the story of someone pleading with his brother to turn away from trouble and get his life back on track. The lyrics are deep and meaningful as well as catchy and melodic. "Springsteen" amazingly captures the sound of the person it's named after without coming off as a rip off of The Boss' sound. What sets Church apart from other country singers is his not only his voice, but his passion and delivery. This man sings with passion and you can FEEL it. If you're a fan of this genre of music and haven't listened to Eric Church then you're missing something! Highly recommended!
11 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Much Better Than Expected! Aug 24, 2011
By Austin Dalyai
"Extreme Ways by Moby... It's a good tune."
Eric Church has never been shy about breaking the boundaries of country music. He doesn't mind a few odd eclectic instruments, and a really loud guitar. This release shifts him into a whole new gear. This CD is loud, rocking, and very personal. I dont know what I was expecting with this album, but I was apprehensive in light of the interviews Eric did before it's release. He said he was going to shake things up, and really change the style he and his fans were used to. Well, I cant say he was wrong, but if you know Eric's previous releases, you really shouldn't expect anything less than what you get here. The album is a step above the others, but it's without a doubt, 100% Eric Church.
From the down-tuned but hard rockin' album opener, Creepin', to the limit pushing radio single Homeboy, and everything in between, Eric shows us that he can be a rock-star and a pure, down home Country singer at the same time. Falshes of Kid Rock and Bruce Springsteen, along with influences of Hank Jr. and George Strait. A perfect mix of loud guitars, deep, dark vocals, and bar-room burners. This album will turn off a lot of neo-traditional country fans, but even as a Strait, Jackson, and LeDoux fan, I'm open minded, and that's what it takes to fall in love with this album. The best Eric Church has offered, and one of the best albums of 2011 so far.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Cheif May 03, 2012
Most uplifting real feeling album in years. Takes you back to places you once knew and at the same time makes you want to go to new places and stand up for who you are. Eric Church is right down home singning these songs with expierence and feeling.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Fresh New Country Aug 03, 2012
By "Rocky Raccoon"
"Hey, Doc, It's Only a Scratch!"
Eric Church is a real find. He may have recorded 'Sinners Like Me,' but I'm the one who has to repent for shrugging and turning away when he came to play at The Western Idaho State Fair.
Eric Church takes all the familiar subjects: frustrations with work, the joys and regrets of booze, and the hopes and dreams of Americans, and apply them like he invented them himself. Indeed, musically and lyrically he does invigorate country music as definitively as any artist you can think of.
His songs of redemption are mostly secular, but who can't relate? Most of the lyrics are about recovery from a woman or work or both, but "Jack Daniels," "Hungover & Hard Up," "I'm Gettin' Stoned," and (my favorite) "Drink in My Hand" all look to liquor as the remedy (and the lingering curse) for what ails you.
When he does get reverent, he looks for icons that trace their roots to his religion. For the hope of Johnny Cash's replacement he sings "Country Music Jesus," and to be inclusive (and further broaden the borders of his already varied selections) his popular tribute to "Springsteen" should fill arenas just like our hero. Then, for the woman in his life, he finds she loves him "Like Jesus Does".
Just when you think he can't get any more resourceful from a few simple, yet solid ideas, "Creepin'" and "Keep On" add more struggle and revitalize music even further. "Home Boy" is as close to a message song as the C.D. contains. Without sounding preachy, he coaxes a younger "Home Boy" to do come back home and enjoy the simpler pleasures in life.
The subject matter is inspired, but while he keeps it all admirably neat, he also manages to come up with an album without a weak track in the bunch.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Hell of an album. Feb 15, 2012
Eric Church "Chief" #1 (2011).
3rd album by this North Carolina singer-songwriter Eric Church. "Chief", is a pure country-rock classic! I'm not a country listener, love my rock and roll (70's rock and some recent rockers Gaslight Anthem, but Eric too me is one of the best talents out there. "Sinners Like Me" (2006) is great, "Carolina" (2009), is just a tad below, but still a great listen, but let's get back to "Chief", you get the rocking' "Creepin'", should be a big hit in the near future, great dobro guitar on this track. His first #1 and #40 hot 100 hit "Drink In My Hand", a solid party anthem. "Keep On", a fantastic southern rocker, has kind of a Allman Brothers feel to it. The beautiful smooth "Like Jesus Does", "I'm a long gone Waylon song on vinyl". "Hungover And Hard Up", very good melodic piece, great lyrics. The single "Homeboy" #13, about a brother gone bad in the big city, and his other brother wanting him to come back to his small town, tremendous tune! "Country Music Jesus", slow building rocker, nice guitar, banjo piece, a church hymn (pardon the pun). "Jack Daniels", I used to love this drink in my early 20's, but things happened to make me quit the stuff (thank goodness)
"Jack Daniels kicked my ass again last night". "Springsteen", his 3rd single from "Chief", I'm getting tired of are local country station 93.7 from Salina, Kansas, not playing this song, just another top number about teenage memories and such, this song should be top 5, but with stupid programming people running radio stations, it'll probably only make top 20, "Like A soundtrack to a July Saturday Night". "I'm Getting Stoned", you can figure out the message, good old smokin' number. "Over When It's Over", ends this disc with a great melodic rock tune, some fine lyrics, "It's a blank page when your outta words". The loss to Lady Antebellum at the grammy's was just wrong, his album totally kicks Lady A's butt! Another fine production by Jay Joyce. 40 minutes of pure bliss.
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