NYCS First Impression: Eric Church Releases ‘Desperate Man’
The term outlaw generally defines one who has broken the law. Eric Church who released his sixth studio album, Desperate Man, available everywhere today, breaks the laws of the current country music trends by following his gut and releasing music that his fans will love, paying no mind to radio programmers or Billboard charts.
The character that Church plays in his latest video for the title track and debut single from the album showcases a fugitive on the run, mainly from his record label and industry bigwigs alike as he tries to simply get his music to his fans. The members of the Church Choir are rewarded each time he releases an album, the vinyl record shows up on their doorstep, sometimes before it is available anywhere else, a precedent he started with his 2015 album Mr. Misunderstood and will continue with this album.
Church doesn’t shy away from his political views on Desperate Man, rather chooses to confront what middle-class Americans are facing in the opening track “The Snake” as well as the album closer, “Drowning Man”. The former grittily accentuates the greed our government is so often capable of while the latter focuses on the underdog, the struggles blue-collar workers are facing.
“Monsters” highlights several downfalls that the human race encounters including, pride, sickness, and darkness, which all take their lessons from the devil. Church combats these monsters by facing them head-on with his faith. (“I keep my faith intact/ make sure my prayers are said / cause I’ve learned that the monsters ain’t the ones beneath the bed”)
Interestingly enough, Desperate Man is released exactly one year after the mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, where Church was a performer the night before the tragedy. Although each member of our country community was hit hard by this senseless act of violence, he publicly showed his emotion during a performance at The Grand Ole Opry the following week and discussed the event during his in-depth interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, telling them it was the last time he cried.
Desperate Man has it’s heavy, poignant songs but two of our favorites are “Hippie Radio”, a nostalgic look back at a life filled with music from the past and “Heart Like A Wheel” a sensual, sultry track which seems like the perfect sequel to “Like A Wrecking Ball” from his 2014 album The Outsiders. Sonically as a whole, the project explores new dimensions vocally all the while reinventing Church’s signature sound.
Announced last month, Church will begin his Double Down Tour in 2019 bringing his new music on the road. The tour stops in 18 cities, each city he will play two completely different shows, plus one show in Nashville. For the full list of tour dates, head to www.ericchurch.com. Click here to take a look back at our all-time favorite Eric Church songs so far and take a listen to Desperate Man below.
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