Zac Brown Band - JEKYLL + HYDE [2LP] (gatefold)
While fans will certainly hear the Zac Brown Band they've come to know and love on Jekyll + Hyde, the 16-song opus will also give listeners a chance to explore the depth of the band's diverse musical aptitude. The first taste of the album has already produced multiple hit singles on the charts across two different genres: "Homegrown" became ZBB's twelfth #1 hit on Country Radio and the fastest rising song on the chart since 2012, while follow-up single "Heavy Is the Head" (feat. Chris Cornell) earned the band its first entry on Mainstream Rock, where the song now reigns at #2 with a bullet.
These songs have just been a preview of Zac Brown Band's genre-defying evolution showcased on Jekyll + Hyde, as the band dives headfirst into surprising new territory while staying true to their sonic roots. "We took more time writing and recording this record than we ever have in the past. We allowed each song to be what it wanted and needed to be. Each song has its own unique identity," said Zac.
Songs like "Loving You Easy", "Castaway" and "One Day" evoke the band's chart-topping catalog, as Zac Brown's in-the-moment lyrics soar over grooving percussion, guitar, strings and flawless vocal harmonies. Meanwhile, "Mango Tree: (feat. Sara Bareilles) boasts Frank Sinatra-esque vocals backed by jazz piano and a full horn section. In the same breath, the band switches to crushing rock tours de force with "Heavy Is the Head" (feat. Chris Cornell) and "Junkyard."
Even the soul-influenced southern sound heard on "Wildfire" and "Dress Blues" gets a sonic twist on "Remedy," with the addition of Uilleann pipes added to a mix of rock organ, gospel choir, banjo and guitar. Elsewhere, driving, four-on-the-floor beats and pop synths fuse with rich layers of banjo and acoustic guitar on songs like "Beautiful Drug" and "Tomorrow Never Comes."
With every track produced or co-produced by In the Arena Productions, the creative team headed by Zac Brown, the band also collaborated with a number of highly accomplished producers including Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Halestorm, Cage the Elephant), Darrell Scott and CeeLo Green. As a result, the album reflects the exploratory spirit of Zac Brown Band's epic live shows, which often include detours from the band's biggest hits to covers of classics ranging from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" to Nirvana's "All Apologies."
The album was recorded at Zac's Southern Ground Nashville studio on Music Row. The site of a converted church, the studio formerly housed Monument Studio, where many fabled country recordings were produced including Kris Kristofferson's first three albums.
Zac Brown Band Jekyll + Hyde Track Listing:
1. Beautiful Drug
2. Loving You Easy
5. Mango Tree (feat. Sara Bareilles)
6. Heavy Is the Head (feat. Chris Cornell)
1. Tomorrow Never Comes
2. One Day
3. Dress Blues
4. Young and Wild
6. I'll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)
8. Tomorrow Never Comes (Acoustic Version)