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article imageReview: Big & Rich flying high with 'Gravity'

By Tom Mortensen     Oct 22, 2014 in Music
Ten years ago, Big & Rich stormed country music with a mission statement not seen since the outlaw days of Waylon and Willie. Now the famed duo returns with a smoother, more melodious approach on their latest outing "Gravity."
Upon the very first listen to the latest release by country sidemen Big & Rich, one may come to the immediate conclusion that here is a duo so in search of a monster hit record. A decade has elapsed since Big Kenny (Alphin) and John Rich unleashed their raucous style upon the masses, branding them as either modern day outlaws or country music’s clown princes with tunes like “Comin’ To Your City” or the unforgettable “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy).” Gravity, the duo’s fifth studio album forges a mellower, more introspective path. “Look at You,” the strong lead cut and first single release has already garnered a generous amount of radio airplay and fits seamlessly into today’s country format with an almost pop sensibility that might be compared to something by Florida Georgia Line or Lady Antebellum.
The timing may be a little off, but “Rollin’ Along”, the fifth cut on the album has all the earmarks of a classic sing-a-long summer party tune.
Another crowded party parking lot
Everybody showing everything they got
Ain’t no sense in us just sticking ‘round here
Let’s sling a little gravel, baby grab another gear
Let’s get to rollin’, rockin’ along
Leaning in closer to a wide open song
Catch ourselves a memory ‘fore the moment is gone…
Tim McGraw makes an appearance on the record adding his vocal harmony to “Lovin’ Lately,” a middle of the road ballad that could strongly be in contention as the next single release.
The country music landscape has long been littered with the detritus of songs written about small town America in a positive Norman Rockwell type vein, but Alphin and Rich paint a starkly different picture where adultery, teen pregnancy and abortion debunk the myth that life here is all about good times, cruisin’ and picket fences on the moody “That Kind of Town.”
Longtime fans of this multi-platinum duo will find solace in the fact that shades of the outlandish Big & Rich that so many have come to know over the years shine brightly on the rocking “I Gotta Git Down” and the quirky “Lose a Little Sleep” which beckons;
all you girls with your show and tell,
barefoot buzzing and hotter than hell,
throw your hands up and let me hear y’all yell
that it’s too early to call it a night just yet.
Country music has changed considerably since the Duo’s 2004 debut release, Horse of a Different Color. Cynics may feel that Big & Rich have succumbed to the more polished; mainstream sound on country radio, but with Gravity, these singer songwriters have grown a bit, while undoubtedly perfecting the art of choosing a good hook. Several of the cuts show so much crossover potential here that the monster hit record they are in search of may well be within their grasp.
And it is well deserved.
Webster Public Relations
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