The Student News Site of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Zach Bryan’s newest album is his best yet

On August 25th, 2023 Zach Lane Bryan struck the music world by releasing his sixteen-track self-titled album. It is his fourth studio album that has made public view; although controversial, it is undoubtedly his best work.

This album includes a rawness that Zach has shown in his older works like DeAnn and Elisabeth but is far more instrumental than anything previous. It also includes four feature songs, something his previous album, American Heartbreak, which put Zach on the global map, failed to do. The album peaked at number one on Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums and EPs, Billboard’s Top Americana/Folk Albums, Billboard’s Top Country Albums and Billboard’s Top Rock Albums. It also debuted at number one in Canada and New Zealand, and number two in Australia and Iceland.

All sixteen of his tracks, including the one poem, debuted in the top fifty Billboard Hot 100 Songs. His duet with Kacey Musgraves in the song “I Remember Everything” debuted at the number one spot and has over 290,000,000 million streams on Spotify. “I Remember Everything” tells a heart-wrenching story of a couple arguing over the man’s problems with alcohol. Zach reminisces about the good times of their relationship like when he asks, “Do you remember that beat down basement couch?” and adds, “I’d sing you my love songs and you’d tell me about/How your mama ran off and pawned her ring.” However, Kacey responds with the more negative side of the relationship and recalls, “You’re drinkin’ everything to ease your mind” and asks back, “But when the hell are you gonna ease mine?” Zach Bryan enthusiasts believe that this song is about his past marriage with Rose Madden. A lot of the song harkens back to his car at the time, an ‘88 Ford, and the labrador he owned during their two years together (2020-2021). Rose was also known to be displeased with Zach’s drinking habits.

Alcoholism has played a negative role in his life as his mom was an alcoholic and passed away due to complications from drinking. A different song on the album called “Overtime,” which notes Zach’s grind and path to get to where he is, has a line that explains this trouble: “I lost my family to a bad disease/I got a mean, mean gene in my family tree/That grows in grandfather, and his daughters, and me, you see?” Zach has always written about his love for his mother and how much he cherished her. Other songs have different meanings or paint different pictures. “Hey Driver” is a duet with The War and Treaty where Zach writes about his desire to escape from the modern world. “Fear and Friday’s” is the most upbeat song on the album and will no doubt turn into a sing-a-long with your friends.

Earlier in 2023, on March 3rd, star-studded Morgan Wallen released One Thing at a Time. This thirty-six track album broke streaming records at release too. Wallen burst onto the scene in years past with hit singles and a coveted album that was released in January of 2021. One Thing at a Time had all thirty-six songs debut in Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs, with 5 of them in the top 10. The album itself sat atop Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums and EPs for 16 weeks.

Zach Bryan and Morgan Wallen came onto the mainstream at roughly the same time, with their releases of their two standout albums each. Even though they are both labeled as country singers, the differences are apparent if you listened to both of them. Zach’s songs have a more folky feel to them while Morgan’s songs go down the pop-country path. Most of his music sound like a stereotypical country song. Though catchy, they talk about a lot of the same topics. Critics of Zach argue that his songs all sound the same. While most of his older music is just him and a guitar, the lyrics are vastly different song over song, and that becomes more apparent the more listening you do. With the release of his new album, a wide array of instruments were used which puts the “his songs all sound the same” argument to rest.

Because these artists have had similar timelines and recent success, fans and trolls like to rile up arguments that one is better then the other. While it is fun to argue and compare music, it also brings hatred to each artist that isn’t needed. Instead people should understand that they are two completely different artists in different sub genres of country music, and can be enjoyed equally without bringing the other one down.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Your donation will support the student journalists of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Comments (0)

All The Campus Lantern Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *