The Brothers Osborne have released their much anticipated, full length album titled Pawnshop. This release has been a long time coming for fans, as well as the brothers themselves. At an intimate concert in April 2015 they expressed their excitement to get these songs released. The wait is finally over and the album does not disappoint.
The brothers have a knack for writing lyrical and musical songs that are like little nuggets of gold. Pretty much every track on the album would make a great single. However, they don’t let that restrict them to the same tired songs that we’ve heard before. Instead, they keep their individuality. One example, the vocal delivery is not always typical. TJ doesn’t just spit out the lyrics line for line, there are unexpected pauses and breaks that add to the overall song.
Dirt Rich- lyrically reads like an autobiography. You can these boys aren’t just guessing at the life they are singing about, they lived it. They lived it and appreciate it. The song is about how when you don’t have a lot of money you learn to live with it.
21 Summer- reminances about a first love and wondering where they are now. Think Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”, however, as a ballad the song is more mellow.
Stay A Little Longer- the number one hit single as of the posting of this review. They set the bar for themselves and the rest of the genre with this song. It was a bold choice for a single and had to be edited down for radio play, but it paid off. This song really showcases John’s ability to talk with his guitar. People are listening now, making it a hit single and I cannot wait to see the level of success the Brothers Osborne achieve going forward.
Pawnshop- they speak from experience, talking about “bills that you can’t pay, if you need cash like yesterday” just go on down to the pawnshop. Songs like this, Dirt Rich and Down Home don’t come across as contrived but instead offer a glimpse of who these guys are. This is a great title for the album because the listener can find a variety of listening pleasures, such as a rockers, ballads, as well as catchy and thoughtful lyrics.
Rum- from their EP, the band’s very first single. Still catchy and still a great sing-a-long.
Loving Me Back (featuring Lee Ann Womack)- is a great classic country ballad. Smokin’, drinkin’ and hurtin’ are soulfully presented.
American Crazy- is a song about equality, plain and simple, with such lines as:
We’re left, we’re right; we’re black and we’re white; We’re all just American crazy”
Greener Pastures- I read an article where they said that they decided if they were going to sing about smoking pot they were going be direct about it. This great rocker with a nice classic country breakdown solo.
Going Down- with the big, up-front vocals and southern rocker tone, I imagine this song becoming a die-hard fan favorite. I envision the Brothers Osborne filling stadiums after a few albums under their belt, and when this song comes up in the setlist the entire crowd will go wild. People will be singing and dancing to this song with a lot of energy; it just evokes it.
Heart Shaped Locket- a beautifully crafted mid-tempo song in the vane of “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles. She’s cheatin’ and he knows it. Toward the end of the song the instrumentation pulls back and TJ almost cries the words out as his voice breaks saying “Got me feeling like a pistol”. This song immediately grabbed my attention when I first heard it.
It Ain’t My Fault- the underlying beat drives through the speakers like a train. TJ’s vocals are huskier than normal. The words are fun to sing once you learn because of the steady delivery of each line, plus it gets a bit wordy. They performed this song on tour last year prior to its release and sounds great live.
The originality of the Brothers Osborne is a breath of fresh air. It will bring them much success in the future because country music fans are ready to hear it. Not only that but their overall sound is appealing to rock fans as well. Their lyrics are universal, profound and relatable. They should be proud of this body of music they have created. As you listen to it, you can tell they put their heart and souls into Pawnshop.
Congratulations Brothers Osborne, JT and John, it’s beautiful!