Zac Brown Band: ‘The Comeback’ – Album Review

Zac Brown Band’s latest album The Comeback is out now, October 15th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Today (October 15), Zac Brown Band released their seventh studio album titled The Comeback. The 15-track project is their follow-up to the controversial The Owl from 2019 and contains seven previously released tracks including “Old Love Song,” “Out in the Middle,” “Slow Burn,” their current single, “Same Boat,” among others. Keep reading below as we dive deeper into this new record.

 Fans of Zac Brown Band love their feel-good, traditional-sounding tunes that made them one of the most popular country groups of the 2010s. With The Owl, the band went outside their comfort zone and experimented with new sounds and topics, which received mixed reviews from fans and critics. Now, The Comeback is Zac Brown Band’s…well, comeback into the traditional country music scene. 

Starting with the previously released tracks, “Same Boat” came out on June 11th and is currently sitting at number nine on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. It has a similar sound as arguable their biggest hit to date, “Chicken Fried” but with a more “islandy” theme. Penned by Zac Brown with Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton (who have cuts all over this record), this upbeat and fun tune reminds us that we are all going through life together and are all merely humans trying to make sense of everything going on. “Old Love Song” and “Out in the Middle” are both Luke Combs co-writes. The former is a traditional love song while the latter is a southern-rock anthem in which Brown sings about the beauty of growing up in the fly-over states. He touches upon his southern roots again in “GA Clay.” 

Love found is one major themes on this album. “Stubborn Pride” features and was co-written by Marcus King and is about a man who finally finds true love and settles down. The slow, acoustic vibe highlights the raw emotion in Brown and King’s voices. The electric guitar solo in the bridge brings added excitement to the blues-influenced country tune. “Love and Sunsets” also touches on romance, but in a different and more cheery fashion. The singer doesn’t have a lot of money to his name, but luckily for him, she doesn’t need a mansion, expensive truck, and diamond rings; love and sunsets are free and that’s good enough for them. In “Closer to Heaven,” he speaks on the faults of the man he was before this women, but now since he’s with her, he’s closer to heaven. Two-time Grammy Award-winner, Gregory Porter brings his jazz influence onto the track, taking the second verse and chorus and providing backing harmonies with Brown in the final chorus.  

While Zac Brown Band touches on the fun side of love, there is also a challenging side of it—love lost. In the western-themed track “Wild Palomino,” he sings about the girl who was difficult to lock down. He compares her to the untamed horse that you simply cannot rein in. Even though he lost her, he will never stop loving her. “Any Day Now” may be the most emotional track on the record. The woman in the story tells the man that any day now she is going to walk out on him, to which he replies ‘I’m going to change my ways any day now.’ Unfortunately for him, the former came before the latter and he never got his chance to make it up to her. 

“Any day now, I’ll make up for the heartache // Any down now, but you couldn’t wait // Judging by the screen door slamming to taillights fading out of town // I guess it’s any day now”

The next two songs discuss young love—some prevail and some fall apart. In “Slow Burn,” the singer describes the feeling of not being able to get over a past fling. He paints vivid pictures of his girl’s sun-kissed skin on the Georgia lakeshore, and simple sights such as the stars in the night sky make her appear back in his mind. There is a lot of imagery and specific memories described in “Us Against the World” that helps the listener feel what these young lovers are feeling at that moment. However, whether or not this couple survived is not indicated in the song, leaving the end up to our interpretation. These songs are the two most studio-produced tracks on the album, but they also incorporate steel guitar and other country elements sprinkled throughout, making it a song for all types of country fans.

Zac Brown Band throws some light-hearted stuff in the project as well, such as “Don’t Let Your Heart” and “Fun Having Fun.” In “Don’t Let Your Heart,” Brown reminds us to keep our heads up even in the darkest of times. All is lost once you let go of love and hope. Keys are very prevalent in this track, which makes it fun to sing-along to. In the latter, the singer tells stories (hopefully fictional) of making reckless mistakes as a young boy in bluegrass fashion. When he is confronted by an elder, his excuse was simply “it’s fun having fun.” Life only comes around once and you have to enjoy it while you’re alive. 

“The Comeback” sits right in the middle of the album at track number eight. It hints at life during the pandemic; how there were no crops in the fields, no children in the classrooms, and no bands on stage. But Brown lifts our spirts by stating the comeback is best part of going through hardships. The backing vocals in this song make it feel almost like a Broadway show finale, which is cool when you compare it to finally climbing out of the pandemic and getting our normal, everyday lives back.

“It’s an underdog story the whole world can see // And the only good thing about getting knocked down is the comeback when it comes back around”

It’s not only Zac Brown Band’s comeback, it’s ours as well. Live music was always something we took for granted—an industry we always thought would be around—but for a year and a half, the world had other plans. So next time you’re on the fence about going out to a show because you have no one to go with, the tickets are expensive, or it’s a weeknight, remember how empty that year and a half felt. This record puts that in perspective—cherish the things in life we currently have because we don’t know how long it is going to be around for.

The Comeback Tracklist

  1. “Slow Burn” (Zac Brown, Ben Hayslip, Ben Simonetti)
  2. “Out in the Middle” (Brown, Luke Combs, Simonetti, Jonathan Singleton)
  3. “Wild Palomino” (Brown, Wyatt Durrette III, Simonetti, Singleton)
  4. “Us Against the World” (Brown, Simonetti, Singleton)
  5. “Same Boat” (Brown, Simonetti, Singleton)
  6. “Stubborn Pride” [feat. Marcus King] (Brown, Marcus King, Simonetti)
  7. “Fun Having Fun” (Brown, Kenny Habul, Kurt Thomas, Simonetti)
  8. “The Comeback” (Brown, Durrette, Ray Fulcher, Simonetti, Singleton)
  9. “Old Love Song” (Brown, Combs, Simonetti, Singleton)
  10. “Any Day Now” (Brown, Clay Cook, Josh Dunne, Fulcher, Simonetti, Singleton)
  11. “Paradise Lost on Me” (Brown, Durrette, Simonetti, Singleton)
  12. “GA Clay” (Brown, Durrette, Neil Mason, Simonetti, Singleton)
  13. “Love & Sunsets” (Brown, Luke Dick, Simonetti)
  14. “Closer to Heaven [feat. Gregory Porter] (Brown, John Driskell Hopkins, Simonetti)
  15. “Don’t Let Your Heart” (Brown, Durrette, Levi Lowrey, Jimmy De Martini, Simonetti)
Zac Brown Band's new album "The Comeback' is out now.

Zac Brown Band’s new album “The Comeback’ is out now.

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The Comeback is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.