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Eric Church, ‘The Outsiders’ [Listen]

The Outsiders
EMI Nashville

Eric Church is hoping to make a statement with the first single from his next album. ‘The Outsiders’ is an unconventional, left-of-center rocker that relies on thick guitars and a soaring chorus to deliver an emotional impact. It’s effective. This sure crowd-pleaser is the sort of song that causes fights to break out.

Lyrically, Church is looking to re-establish himself as a country rebel. Back-to-back No. 1 hits may have left him thinking he was leaning too mainstream, so the tone of ‘The Outsiders’ fights back at every opportunity. A spoken word intro and bass-heavy, 60-second outro are two elements that will give pause to play it safe program directors.

Our women get hot and our leather gets stained / When we saddle up and ride ‘em in the pouring rain / We’re the junkyard dogs, we’re the alley cats / Keep the wind at our fronts and the hell at our backs / That’s who we are,” Church sings with uninhibited aggression. This isn’t a thinking man’s song like many of the best from ‘Chief.’ ‘The Outsiders’ runs on adrenaline and testosterone.

The outsiders, rebel riders / We’re the ones burning rubber off our tires / Yeah we’re the fighters, the all-nighters / So fire ‘em up and get a little higher / The outsiders / The outsiders / You’re gonna know who we are,” he adds during each chorus.

Jay Joyce is always happy to push the limits of country music. You’d only need to switch vocalists to make this a successful rock track. Heavy guitars and the anthemic “Oh, oh oh” post-chorus do as much to set the mood as Church’s violent delivery.

‘The Outsiders’ is a strong declaration that the North Carolina native will continue to write his own rule book. Despite the success of ‘Chief,’ Church still seems somewhat unsatisfied as he begins revealing his fourth studio album. His insatiable hunger may not be what radio wants to play, but no other artist has had more success working against the grain than this outsider.

Why Fans Will Love It: Fans that have long identified with Church’s rebel anthems will find a song seemingly written for them. The singer sounds as if he is standing and leading his faithful into battle.

Key Lyrics: “We’re the bad news, we’re the young guns / We’re the ones that they told you to run from / Yeah, the player’s gonna play and a haters gonna hate / And a regulators born to regulate / When it hits the fan and it all goes down / And the gloves come off, you’re gonna find out just / Who we are

Did You Know?: Co-writer Casey Beathard may be the most diverse songwriter in Nashville. A list of hits he’s written includes ‘Walk a Little Straighter’ by Billy Currington, ‘Ten Rounds of Jose Cuervo’ by Tracy Byrd, ‘No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems’ by Kenny Chesney, ‘Hot Mama’ by Trace Adkins and ‘Find Out Who Your Friends Are’ by Tracy Lawrence.

Listen to Eric Church, ‘The Outsiders’

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