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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 February 2014
To start with I wasn't sure, he's taken a new direction here. If you've got Chief and are expecting more of the same you may be disappointed.

After a few listens I'm completely hooked though. There's a strong rock influence throughout and some songs are quite dark.

Tracks like Rollercoaster Ride and Give Me Back My Hometown quickly become anthems I can't get out of my head.

Eric's passion and song writing excellence is evident throughout.
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on 23 March 2014
Eric has said that he hopes/want/intend his music to fit into any specific expectations and "genres" - he DOES that here!!!! It's just great!!! Some fantastic rockers (really - they DO ROCK big time!!!)), sublime, touching story-songs that tick every box, even a spoken word track (don't be afraid - FAB stuff) that are just lovely listening. It really is all here. OK - it may not sound like the "landmark" hit breakthrough that was "CHIEF" at some points, but what could be, and why should it???? Gotta move on.............and Eric is running fine on here, with an absolutely superb Band behind him. Also, MUST say, saw these Guys in Manchester on recent tour of UK - BOOM!!!!!!! Blew the place the apart!!!! Recommended - HIGHLY!!!!!! Honest now..............
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on 20 March 2014
Eric Church doesn't view himself as purely a country singer which can have a very mixed reaction in Nashville, especially on Country radio. His last album 'Chief' was simply brilliant, not a weak song on the album and he won every award going. So how would he follow that? Well with a harder edged album and one that sounds like it's a concept album. The concept being 'we are not going to play by the rules'.

It's a strong album, he has his own sound, but lets hope he doesn't get too big for his boots or become boring after a time. Like his other albums there are songs of drinking, drugs and being really bad ass! But at least there are less religious elements too this one, god knows how Americans seam to put these two aspects together in country music so often. But his songs are deep and need to be listened to, not just back ground music. Another great album from Eric Church.
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on 4 June 2015
looks like im in a minority here but ....

this isnt a country album its a rock album

its not a very good rock album

there are some good tracks and some good parts of tracks but nothing that holds a candle to previous work

its Eric making a deliberate change of style to meet his 'Outsider' styling. It feels like a too deliberate, over thought, over produced exercise. it feels like they had meetings about this change rather than it being an organic natural progression or move.

he tried something and i dont think it worked.

the Outsider thing doesnt work...he is a major success on a major label.... Hank3 is an outsider, Shooter Jennings is too. Eric? not so much - thefact he keeps telling us he is lets us know that.
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Eric Church does not follow the country pop of many of today's country artists; he does not sound the same as so many do. He stretches the boundaries of country music. He has originality. He has a rebel streak or is a bit of a country outlaw or his music has a rock n roll edge with a southern influence. At the same time, his albums are full of real country music with plenty of honky tonk. His last album Chief was outstanding and a hard album to follow but he has done it again. This album is outstanding. Highlights include the Sourthern soul of Wrecking Ball, The Outsiders , the nostalgic and brilliant Hometown (my favourite) but it is almost churlish to pick out highlights because it is an album full of variety and great sounds. I think those that are fans of Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Charlie Daniels Band, Hank Williams Jr will all find soemthign to like on this album. However this is not country music that is stuck in the is modern country music for the future......Indeed I would suggest those that like the magnificient Bruce Springsteen will like this album. I thought before he sung 'Springsteen' on his last album, he was country music's answer to Springsteen and this album confirms that for me. It is an album of real quality. This is an exciting and entertaining listen that is going to be in my CD players for a long time as was his previous album. This will be one of the best releases this year....Highly recommended.
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on 1 May 2014
I've got Sinners..., Chief and Carolina at home and was really starting to warm to Eric's style, and when this new one came out, I thought "great stuff."

I read reviews which mentioned "darker" "heavier" etc and that didn't bother me as I'm more of a rocker than a country fan myself.

However, and bearing in mind I have only given it one listen so far, I was very disappointed with The Outsiders. It almost sounds like a collection Eric put together from his student days while drunk and angry. Mumbling, grumbling, groaning and almost talking through much of it. Plenty of angst admittedly, but little melody and certainly no foot-tappers. The title track, heavy though it is, just doesn't put fire in the blood and tighten the belly like a good rock track should do, and I find it hard to highlight any of the other tracks that I liked, with perhaps the exception of "Give Me Back My Hometown" but even that sounds like it was painful for him to sing, and I don't mean in a spiritual way.

I really wanted to like it, and maybe it'll improve with more listens, but I'm finding it hard to WANT to listen to it again. I'm amazed it's got 14 5-star ratings at this point in time.
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on 26 February 2014
Not really sure what to say about Eric Church - I loved his first album but then thought the two subsequent albums, although both of a very high quality, didn't really match the inventiveness of the debut.

So here he is with album number four. I'd heard the title track and, although I'd rather have rock mixed with my country than the current obsession with rap, thought (on first hearing) that it was a bit TOO heavy. Even the imagery associated with the album says RAWK!!! to me more than Country but I was happy to give the whole thing a try. And I'm glad I did!

Mr Church manages to mix those rocky moments nicely with a handful of more country sounding tracks that make for a very satisfying collection. Highlights for me are "A Man Who Was Gonna To Die Young", "Cold One", and "Like A Wrecking Ball" (love that organ!), but mention should also be made of ""That's Damn Rock & Roll" for it's sheer balls-iness (even given it's rap middle eight), and album closer "The Joint" for it's sheer strangeness - I love the trombone! The only low point for me is "Broke Record", a fairly generic new country track with an irritating stuttering effect.

And I can't finish without mentioning the 8 minute "Devil, Devil" with it's opening spoken section subtitled "Princess of Darkness". The 'lyrics' for this part aren't included in the booklet but you can find them on his website. It doesn't take long to realise that the Princess he's referring to is Nashville: take the time to listen to this carefully, "If you make it she's your savior, if you don't she's a whore". Stirring stuff!

Excellent album!
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on 28 February 2014
Of all the forms of music which exist, and I have an extremely eclectic taste, Rock comes way down my list I'm afraid.
But, there is no doubt about it, that this new album is far more rock orientated than his previous albums, which I love.
It reminds me quite a lot of Alabama 3 and the Drive by Truckers.
There is also ne doubt that , whilst Chief pulled you in from the very first listen, Outsiders takes a couple more listens but please do not be put off by this. When people say this in reviews, I sometimes feel they are making apologies for the album and it often puts me off.
This is a different but nontheless, imposing Eric Church at his most assertive best. He has such a beautiful tone to his voice, especially in the higher notes, and his distinctive twang makes me reach for a beer from the fridge immediately to cool me down in that southern heat-and that's me living in Glasgow.
I was also very fortunate to be able to see Eric and his superb band last night in the 02 in Glasgow with just about a sell out crowd-not bad for a wet thursday!People came from all over Scotland too and there was a great mix of ages and appearances, with just a few red-checky shirts on display.
He played half and half new tracks and older ones and went down a storm-brilliant musicianship and vocals. It was a real delight to be at my first concert for 20 years( I have always hated the poor sound quality but things have obviuosly moved on)

I don't quite get why it is a darker album, as it surely is, as Eric obviously loves his wife, son , fans and his music. He SO enjoyed himself last night!! But there is clearly a darker side of him that he tries to keep in check.

I just love being in the ERic Church gang, and would recommend this album to the converted and the agnostics as well as the sceptics!!!
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on 4 April 2014
Having been a long time fan of Eric Church this is quite different from his previous records in some ways but it's still wonderful. I saw Eric in London last month and he played a lot of this new music, as I was leaving Shepherds Bush i overheard someone say, what a fantastic concert, but I don't like his new CD obviously not realising that we had been treated to a good selection from it!!
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on 25 February 2015
Eric Church has always had a hard, rockier edge and this is probably getting closest to how he really wants to sound. This is country rock, not country, he sings well, band plays superbly and each song is unique.
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