Jekyll + Hyde

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JEKYLL + HYDE
JekyllHyde.jpg
Studio album by Zac Brown Band
Released April 28, 2015
Genre Country, country rock, Heartland Rock, country pop, Southern rock
Label Southern Ground, BMLG, Republic, John Varvatos Records
Producer
Zac Brown Band chronology
Greatest Hits So Far...
(2014)
Jekyll + Hyde
(2015)
Singles from Jekyll + Hyde
  1. "Homegrown"
    Released: January 12, 2015
  2. "Heavy Is the Head"
    Released: March 6, 2015
  3. "Loving You Easy"
    Released: May 4, 2015

Jekyll + Hyde is the fourth major-label studio album by the Zac Brown Band. It was released on April 28, 2015.[1] The album's lead single, "Homegrown", was released on January 12, 2015.[2] "Heavy Is the Head", featuring Chris Cornell, was released two months later to the rock format. "Loving You Easy" is the album's second release to country, and third single overall.

Promotion[edit]

The band played the songs "Homegrown" and "Dress Blues" from the album at the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship pregame show.[3] On March 7, 2015, the band performed "Homegrown" and "Heavy Is the Head" on Saturday Night Live.[4] The band is set to embark on their Jekyll + Hyde Tour beginning in May in promotion of the album.[1]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 album chart on the week ending May 3, 2015 selling 228,000 equivalent album units (214,000 copies of traditional sales), making it their third number album on the Billboard 200 chart.[5] As of June 2015, the album has sold 402,000 copies in the United States.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 56/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Billboard 3.5/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly C+[10]
The New York Times mixed[11]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[12]

Carl Wilson of Billboard rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars. His review stated that "The album is a good-faith effort to match or even outstrip the band's onstage eclecticism, and the musical personality shifts help relieve the group's tendency to blandness, providing cover for Brown's dutifully generic, if personable voice. Some longer-standing fans, though, might judge the changes as diabolical as the two-faced Robert Louis Stevenson character that lends the album its name." He also thought that "Dress Blues" was the strongest track.[9] Also giving it 3.5 out of 5, Thom Jurek of Allmusic expressed general favor in the variety of stylistic choices, highlighting "Dress Blues", "Junkyard", "Remedy", "Loving You Easy", and "One Day" in particular, adding that "The stylistic range of Jekyll + Hyde proves that ZBB's reach is almost limitless, and this set will more than likely delight the group's legions of fans." However, he criticized "Wildfire" and the acoustic rendition of "Tomorrow Never Comes" as "unnecessary" and thought that the production was "too bright".[8] Giving it 3 out of 5 stars, Will Hermes of Rolling Stone praised the variety of musical styles on the album, but felt that some of the songs were "a little predictable". He thought that "Dress Blues", written and originally recorded by Jason Isbell, was the strongest track.[12]

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Kyle Anderson rated the album "C+", stating that "Brown rarely fails to push the boundaries of the genre. It’s an admirable outlook to have in the oft-stuffy world of Nashville formalism, and it has led his band to multiplatinum success. But the group’s fourth studio full-length goes miles beyond even their most off-the-beaten-path excursions, and not always for the better...Though Brown’s vocals adjust to Jekyll + Hyde‍ '​s multiple personalities, he can’t provide enough continuity to keep the album cohesive, and the borderline-goofy gambits are more distracting than interesting. The album certainly proves that ZBB have range. But at some point, experimentation swerves into self-indulgence, and Brown never gets around to solving Jekyll’s identity crisis." He thought that "Young and Wild" and "Heavy Is the Head" were the strongest tracks.[10] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times gave a mixed review, stating that the album "suggests a path forward. Rather than follow the hip-hop hybrids of the day, the album offers a huge amalgam of soft rock, country-rock, hard rock, heavyish metal, big band music, bluegrass and, yes, a touch of electronic music." Caramanica was also critical of Brown's singing, saying that his "unimaginative voice can gum up a song, as it does here on 'Dress Blues,' and he rarely moves past lyrical platitudes. When he evokes Kenny Rogers, as on 'One Day,' it’s effective, but more often it’s a liability." He also thought of the musical arrangements that "Even when Mr. Brown is taking it easy, though, the band is working hard, eager to show it’s trapped inside a flimsy box."[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer Length
1. "Beautiful Drug"   Zac Brown, Niko Moon In the Arena Productions 3:11
2. "Loving You Easy"   Brown, Moon, Al Anderson In the Arena Productions 2:35
3. "Remedy"   Brown, Moon, Wyatt Durrette, Keb' Mo' In the Arena Productions, Darrell Scott 3:51
4. "Homegrown"   Brown, Moon, Durrette Zac Brown, Jay Joyce 3:25
5. "Mango Tree" (featuring Sara Bareilles) Brown, Moon, Anna Harwood In the Arena Productions, Scott, Jim Hoke 3:41
6. "Heavy Is the Head" (featuring Chris Cornell) Brown, Moon, Durrette, John Driskell Hopkins, Jimmy De Martini, Darrell Scott In the Arena Productions, Scott 3:59
7. "Bittersweet"   Brown, Moon, Durrette Brown, Joyce 5:10
8. "Castaway"   Brown, Moon, Durrette, Coy Bowles, Hopkins In the Arena Productions 3:08
9. "Tomorrow Never Comes"   Brown, Moon, Durrette In the Arena Productions 3:58
10. "One Day"   Brown, Durrette, Rich Robinson, Sarah Dugas, Christian Dugas, Matt Mangano In the Arena Productions, CeeLo Green 3:49
11. "Dress Blues"   Jason Isbell In the Arena Productions 5:30
12. "Young and Wild"   Brown, Moon, Durrette, Amos Lee, Bowles In the Arena Productions 3:14
13. "Junkyard" (contains elements of "Is There Anybody Out There?" by Pink Floyd) Brown, Roger Waters In the Arena Productions 7:13
14. "I'll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)"   Brown, Moon, Durrette, Bowles, Scott, Hopkins In the Arena Productions, Scott 5:48
15. "Wildfire"   Brown, Eric Church, Durrette, Liz Rose, Clay Cook In the Arena Productions 2:46
16. "Tomorrow Never Comes" (acoustic version) Brown, Moon, Durrette In the Arena Productions 4:36
Total length:
1:06:02

Personnel[edit]

Compiled from liner notes.[13]

Musicians[edit]

Zac Brown Band
Additional musicians
  • Vinnie Ciesleski - trumpet (track 5)
  • Donald Dunlavey - electric guitar (track 6)
  • Béla Fleck - banjo (tracks 9, 13)
  • Barry Green - trombone (track 5)
  • Steve Herrmann - trumpet (track 5)
  • John Hinchey - trumpet (track 5)
  • Jim Hoke - tenor saxophone (track 5), flute (track 5)
  • Byron House - upright bass (track 16)
  • Jewel - vocals (track 11)
  • Jay Joyce - percussion (track 4), programming (track 4)
  • Randy Leago - baritone saxophone (track 5)
  • Mike McGoldrick - Uileann pipes, Irish flute, pennywhistle (track 3)
  • Niko Moon - vocals (track 1), programming (tracks 3, 13)
  • Mickey Raphael - harmonica (track 16)
  • Darrell Scott - acoustic guitar (tracks 3, 16), electric guitar (tracks 3, 6), banjolin (track 3), pedal steel guitar (tracks 6, 16), vocals (tracks 6, 14), "acoustic stringed instrument" (track 14), piano (track 16)
  • Ben Simonetti - programming (tracks 1, 2, 3, 10, 12), trumpet (track 10)

Choir on "Remedy" and "I'll Be Your Man": Darrell Scott, Maureen Murphy, Sarah Dugas, John Cowan, Odessa Settles, Rick Jones, Jason Eskridge

Technical[edit]

  • Brandon Bell - engineering (tracks 3, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15), mixing (tracks 11, 14, 15)
  • Chris Bellman - mastering (all tracks)
  • Mario Borgatta - mix assistant (track 13)
  • Zac Brown - production (tracks 4, 7)
  • Martin Cooke - engineering (track 13)
  • Paul Cossette - engineering (track 7)
  • Rich Costey - mixing (track 13)
  • Nicholas Fournier - engineering (track 13)
  • CeeLo Green - production (track 10)
  • Jason Hall - mixing (track 4), engineering (tracks 4, 7)
  • Jim Hoke - production (track 5)
  • In the Arena Productions - production (all tracks except 4, 7)
  • Jay Joyce - production (tracks 4, 7), mixing (track 4)
  • Kyle Lehning - engineering (track 5)
  • Sean Phelan - engineering (track 10)
  • Anthony Ruotolo - engineering (track 5)
  • Andrew Scheps - mixing (all tracks except 4, 9, 11, 13, 14)
  • Darrell Scott - production (tracks 3, 5, 6, 14)
  • Ben Simonetti - engineering (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 16), mixing (track 9)
  • Kyle Stevens - engineering (track 6)
  • Tom Syrowski - engineering (track 6)

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[14] 6
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[15] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 66
US Billboard 200[17] 1
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[18] 1

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country US Country Airplay US Rock US Rock Airplay US Main. Rock US CAN Country CAN Rock CAN
2015 "Homegrown" 2 1 35 1 43
"Heavy Is the Head" 14 11 1 1
"Loving You Easy"A 16 13 63 12 77
  • ACurrent single.[19]
Preceded by
Love Somebody by Reba McEntire
Just as I Am by Brantley Gilbert
NOW That's What I Call Country Volume 8 by Various Artists
Billboard Top Country Albums number-one album
May 16–30, 2015
June 13, 2015
July 4, 2015
Succeeded by
Just as I Am by Brantley Gilbert
Django & Jimmie by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
incumbent

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "News". Zac Brown Band. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  2. ^ Dunkerley, Beville (2015-01-12). "Zac Brown Band, 'Homegrown' Is First Single From New Label Partnership". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Zac Brown Band to Headline College Football Tailgate". Tasteofcountry.com. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  4. ^ Dunkerley, Beville (2015-03-05). "Zac Brown Band Announce New Album 'Jekyll + Hyde' and Tour Dates". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  5. ^ Keith Claufield (May 6, 2015). "Zac Brown Band Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 24, 2015). "Country Album Chart Report For June 24, 2015". Roughstock. 
  7. ^ "Jekyll + Hyde Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Jekyll + Hyde". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Wilson, Carl (28 April 2015). "Album Review: Zac Brown Band Captures Its Onstage Madness With ‘Jekyll + Hyde’". Billboard. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Anderson, Kyle (28 April 2015). "Jekyll + Hyde by Zac Brown Band: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (28 April 2015). "Review: Zac Brown Band’s ‘Jekyll + Hyde’". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Hermes, Will (28 April 2015). "Jekyll + Hyde review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Jekyll + Hyde (CD booklet). Zac Brown Band. John Varvatos/BMLG/Southern Ground/Republic. 2015. B0022962-02. 
  14. ^ "Zac Brown Band – Jekyll + Hyde". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Zac Brown Band Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Zac Brown Band.
  16. ^ "Zac Brown Band – Jekyll + Hyde". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  17. ^ "Zac Brown Band Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Zac Brown Band.
  18. ^ "Zac Brown Band Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Country Albums for Zac Brown Band.
  19. ^ "Single Releases". MusicRow. Retrieved April 21, 2015.