The Boys Are Back (The Oak Ridge Boys album)

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The Boys Are Back
Studio album by The Oak Ridge Boys
Released May 19, 2009
Genre Country
Label Spring Hill Records
Producer Duane Allen
Dave Cobb
The Oak Ridge Boys chronology
A Gospel Journey
(2009)
The Boys Are Back
(2009)
It's Only Natural
(2011)

The Boys Are Back is the thirtieth studio album of Country music group The Oak Ridge Boys. It was released in 2009 under the Spring Hill Records label. The album marked the group's return to secular country music after releasing gospel albums since 1992. The track "Seven Nation Army," a cover of The White Stripes's 2003 song from their album Elephant, was released as the album's first single.

The track "Beautiful Bluebird" was written and previously recorded by country-rock musical artist Neil Young for his 1985 album Old Ways, but was not included and instead featured on his 2007 album Chrome Dreams II. The track "Boom Boom" was written and recorded by John Lee Hooker on his 1962 album Burnin' . The song is listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Background[edit]

After signing with Spring Hill Records in 2001, the group returned to its roots from the 1940s, releasing gospel material. But just as the group focused on country-pop in the late 1970s, the Oak Ridge Boys "recreated" themselves before the album's release, according to band member and producer Duane Allen.[1]

The Oak Ridge Boys performing in 2007

Shooter Jennings, the son of the late country music legend Waylon Jennings, asked the Oak Ridge Boys to collaborate with him on his 2007 album The Wolf. Jennings introduced the group to record producer Dave Cobb, and invited them to a performance. After being surprised by the reaction of the youth-dominated crowd to the tune of "Elvira", Cobb took the band to a studio where they experimented with different sounds.[2]

The group recorded the album in a studio in Nashville formerly used by Waylon Jennings, next door to the Oak Ridge Boys' former office. According to Allen, the album took only two weeks to record, with the group spending time in the studio every day until midnight or thereafter.[3]

When asked about the album's content, bass singer Richard Sterban commented, "If there's something I could compare this to, it would be what Johnny Cash did in the later part of his career." [2]

Reception[edit]

The record reached #16 on country album charts, the band's highest ranking since their 1988 album Monongahela. The album also stood at #77 on the Billboard 200, the group's first top 100 activity and highest ranking on the chart since the 1983 album American Made.[4] American Dreams Allmusic gave the album a mixed review. While giving the album three out of five stars, the critic described the group as "overcompensating greatly." The title track, is described as "repetitive." The song "Seven Army Nation," received the most negative criticism, cited for missing "the mark by a mile" and showing "little understanding" of the song. "Boom Boom" also received negative marks from allmusic, who thought that Richard Sterban sounded like a "randy Mr. Ed." The reviewer also said that the album is a "fitfully entertaining comeback." [5]

The Times Record News gave the album a B, lauding the vocals on the title track as "rich" and "unique." The publication cited the tracks "Mama’s Table," "Troublin’ Mind," "Live With Jesus" and "Hold Me Closely" as the standouts of the record.[6]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Boys Are Back"   Shooter Jennings 3:37
2. "Hold Me Closely"   Brent Cobb 3:28
3. "Hold You in My Arms"   Ethan Johns, Ray LaMontagne 5:28
4. "Seven Nation Army"   Jack White 3:54
5. "Mama's Table"   Jamey Johnson, George Teren 3:28
6. "Boom Boom"   John Lee Hooker 3:15
7. "You Ain't Gonna Blow My House Down"   Glenn Ashworth, Dallas Frazier 4:10
8. "Beautiful Bluebird"   Neil Young 3:46
9. "God's Gonna Ease My Troublin' Mind"   Traditional 3:16
10. "Live with Jesus"   Paul Kennerley 3:16

Chart[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
U.S. Top Country Albums 16
U.S. Billboard 200 77

Singles[edit]

Year Song US Country
2009 "Seven Nation Army" -
2009 "Mama's Table"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Price, Deborah Evans.Oak Ridge Boys get "Back" to basics, Reuters, 2009-05-22.
  2. ^ a b Gerome, John.Oak Ridge Boys tackle White Stripes on new album, Associated Press, 2009-05-28.
  3. ^ Bio, The Oak Ridge Boys Official Site.
  4. ^ Artist Chart History - The Oak Ridge Boys, Billboard.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen. The Boys Are Back, Allmusic.
  6. ^ Chance, Don. Chance: McBride shines, Jarosz impresses on new CDs, Times Record News, 2009-05-22.