Garth Brooks ‘FUN’ and ‘Triple Live Deluxe’ Album Review
Old and new Garth Brooks songs have been released through two albums, Triple Live Deluxe and FUN, that provide listeners with the idea that the “If Tomorrow Never Comes” singer is not straining away from the contemporary spotlight while, still, remembering his roots and past success. Learn more about both releases below.
One of the most influential, respected and noteworthy country music performers has released not one, but two albums. A live collection filled with Garth Brooks’ most iconic hits titled Triple Live Deluxe acts as a 2020 alternative to a concert with the 7-time CMA Entertainer of the Year. And, each production carries through the energy and passion that Brooks consistently executes in his performances. The adjoining project, his 12th studio album FUN, has been highly anticipated after months of promotions and talk regarding the first full-length release from the “Ask Me How I Know” singer since his 2016 Gunslinger album.
Brooks, who has been inclined to perform medleys all throughout his career such as the 1994 ACM award show in which he acknowledged all artists who influence him such as George Jones, Glen Campbell and George Strait or, most recently, during the 2020 BBMA’s where he was awarded with the Icon Award before laying down vocals from a handful of his greatest numbers, provides listeners with a permanent, always accessible blend of classics with Triple Live Deluxe. The 30-track album is a true, virtual experience of the record-breaking “Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood” along with additional tracks from his 2019 Stadium Tour. With the noise of the audience and dialogue from the world-famous headliner between songs, Triple Live Deluxe emphasizes the strength in raw and unfiltered moments in a way that makes it known that Brooks shines through live performance.
An unexpected yet highly moving track lives among these timeless, never-gets-old hits. “Guy Goin’ Nowhere” is one of the only exceptions throughout the entire piece that highlights a separate artist. Ashley McBryde released “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” in March 2018 which essentially put her on the map in country music after her debut single “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”. Brooks’ rendition of this vulnerable, steadfast number is a telltale sign that these lyrics, written by McBryde and Jeremy Bussey, quiet a room and add sentiment, empathy and courage to all listening whether it be in a concert venue or not. However, similar to the way Brooks has his finest moments in a live setting, this song, whether sung by McBryde or Brooks, soars in the same setting where an audience is directly impacted by the fragility of the environment where the chords and words fly delightfully unpolished.
FUN takes on a different path. It includes previous releases such as the cover of “Shallow” with Trisha Yearwood as well as the well-known collaboration with Blake Shelton “Dive Bar”, plus his 2018 releases “All Day Long” and “Stronger Than Me”. Though it triggers a separate part of the brain to listen to the new music after a walk down memory lane with Triple Live Deluxe, this new studio album is everything familiar, compelling and energizing.
The intro song, “The Road I’m On”, shines a light on Brooks’ career in the music industry thus far. The words sung depict everything this double album release suggests: this firm, immovable act in country music, who has stood on many stages, is not straining away from the contemporary spotlight any time soon. The track incorporates an attractive beat that touches upon a bit of a country-rock crossroad while maintaining the Brooks style.
“From the honky-tonks to the big stage, I’ve played ’em the same way / And I’m left to stand where I stand / All of the places and all of the faces / Who make me who I am / Thanks for makin’ me feel like bein’ home on this road I’m on”
“The Courage of Love”, written by John Martin and Brooks, resembles the wearing-my-heart-on-my- sleeve type discography of the #1 selling solo artist in US history in the best way. It acts as a message to men to act human; to show fear and regret. Lyrically, the evolution of man and what it takes to be one is diminished with the simple truth that being able to love in a courageous way is the challenge.
“The hardest thing you’ll ever do is tell someone you’re sorry / You’ll never be the bravest man if you can’t admit you’re scared / What you do, in what you say / The strength it’s gonna take to stay / Comes from somewhere high up above / That’s the courage of love”
“Where The Cross Don’t Burn” is a tender-hearted melody among meaning-of-life lyrics (Troy Jones and Phil Thomas) regarding racial difference. Charley Pride lays his words and soul down alongside Brooks in this production which makes for an incredibly moving and powerfully gripping story.
“In the land where the cotton grows / In a time when change came slow / Just beyond the point of no return / A young boy and a black old man / On the tracks walkin’ hand in hand / That’s where I come to understand and learn / Where the cross don’t burn”
This double album release is an inspirational and heart-wrenching reminder of the power that music holds. Triple Live Deluxe not only brings nostalgia to the table, but it simultaneously carries notes of joy, excitement, anticipation, and loss. It is a reflection of who we were in relation to who we are now. FUN, follows that idea with growth, strength, pain, and the courage of love. Together, the projects produce a variety of emotions in which every listener can identify and understand after this year alone.
After thirty years in music, Brooks holds the title of reigning champion on difficult topics while delivering grace, trust, faith, and honor.
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