Eric Church’s new album, ‘&’ is available now, April 20th, exclusively on vinyl to members of his fan club, The Church Choir. It’s the second of 3 new albums to be released by Church this month, including Heart, released on April 16th, and Soul, due out April 23rd. Read our first impression review of ‘&‘ below as we dig a little deeper into the new music.
If you want to hear the second piece of Eric Church’s Heart & Soul collection, ‘&’, you need to be a member of his Church Choir fan club, and you need to own a record player. Released exclusively on vinyl (at least for now), the six-track collection is the second of three albums released this month by Church. Last Friday, April 16th, he shared his Heart, and he’ll share his Soul this Friday, April 23rd.
Overall, ‘&’ shows Church’s sensitive and introspective side, the majority of the songs lean towards being more low-key and mid-tempo. The exception is “Do Side,” a guitar-driven track that puts Church’s rock influences on full display. On here, he’s the left behind and not the leaver, remarking “Yeah, the player got played.” However, the emotional change of pace is a welcomed one, as he realizes that he might have gotten what he needed, finding himself on the “do side of a give a damn.”
As a release solely for his devoted fans, much of ‘&’ pays homage to those who have been loyal to Church since the beginning. The opening track, “Through My Ray-Bans,” is a heartfelt ode to the Chief’s view every night from the stage. “Everybody’s got their arms around // Everybody else’s shoulders // Guarding against the world outside // Like an army of Friday night soldiers,” He sings. “The battle wages tomorrow // But tonight you don’t give a damn // Wish you could stay the way I see you // Through my Ray-Bans.”
On “Doing Life With Me,” Church continues to show his softer side on this musical thank you to his wife, and all of those special people “doing life with him.” It’s a beautiful track, perfect for first dances and wedding receptions, with Church singing, “Spend my living giving thanks // For the ships I never sank // Every big, every little in the everyday things // The notes and the words and the songs I sing // To the ones doing life with me.”
Church is also heartbroken on ‘&’, as evidenced on “Kiss Her Goodbye” and “Mad Man.” The former tells the clever tale of all of the places he loves to kiss someone, except now he can’t bring himself to “kiss her goodbye.” On “Mad Man,” he sings of a man driven crazy by his lost love. While this track starts off slow, it picks up with a blistering guitar solo in the second half, Church’s vocals shining as he proclaims he’s “like a mad man.”
The album ends with “Lone Wolf,” another epic track that builds and explodes with meaning. “Yeah, this lone wolf is done runnin’ down the moon // In the daylight dark of the night this heart is howlin’ for you,” He sings, “Yeah, this lone wolf ain’t lonely anymore // ‘Cause you weren’t afraid to reach out and save a lone wolf at your door.”
While ‘&’ is shrouded in a bit of mystery due to the exclusivity of its release, it features six solid new tracks that Church devotees are sure to love. However, for those who aren’t yet members of the Church Choir, ‘&’ might just make the membership worth the investment.
- Through My Ray-Bans
- Doing Life With Me
- Kiss Her Goodbye
Check out recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.