The Outsiders

The Outsiders

by Eric Church


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Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn't give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel. He sings about his "Dark Side" and the Devil, murmurs ominously about "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young," winks a double entendre about "The Joint," and declares "That's Damn Rock & Roll," a provocative statement from a singer who is nominally country but loves to strut with a heavy metal swagger. Church brings on the thunder with "The Outsiders," a galumphing rallying cry that's intended as a middle finger to all those cheerful bros in tight-fitting jeans who sing songs about trucks set to a hip-hop beat. He may sneer at those good-looking suburban country dudes riding the top of the charts but Church is a modern man -- he decorates the kiss-off "Cold One" with a skittish electronic funk beat -- who doesn't take a second glance at the past, unless it's to tip a hat to Hank, Hag, Jones, or Waylon or to deliver the slow-burning Southern soul of "Like a Wrecking Ball." Contrary to the bluster of "The Outsiders" and "That's Damn Rock & Roll," Church doesn't follow the macho straight and narrow on The Outsiders. Surely, he never disguises his masculine side but sings sweetly, too, and he indulges in detours, the craziest being the prog pomposity of the eight-minute suite "Devil, Devil (Prelude: Princess of Darkness)." Most of all, he takes strides to paint himself as the heir apparent to workingman's hero Bruce Springsteen, going so far as to write an anthem to dying middle-class America called "Give Me Back My Hometown." Designed to be a set closer at arenas across the U.S., it delivers the requisite fireworks but Church possesses a sly eye for detail that humanizes his broad strokes, a necessary counterpoint to songs that are otherwise outsized. This shift toward the epic -- present throughout The Outsiders but not always dominating the tone -- is a real shift for Church, who has otherwise specialized in songs that are a little simpler. Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country, and if he doesn't quite knock it out of the park when he swings for the fences, he nevertheless scores.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/11/2014
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602537577446
catalogNumber: 1940202
Rank: 13671

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eric Church   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Barry Green   Trombone
Jay Joyce   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Baritone,Noise,Omnichord,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer
Craig Wright   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bouzouki,Dobro,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Slide Dobro,Octave Mandolin,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Roy Agee   Trombone
Jason Sellers   Background Vocals
Lee Hendricks   Bass,Percussion,Background Vocals,Guitar (Baritone)
Jason Hall   Background Vocals
Matthew Wheeler   Background Vocals
Jeff Hyde   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Joanna Cotton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jay Joyce   Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer
Casey Beathard   Composer
Monty Criswell   Composer
Karen Naff   Art Direction
Jason Hall   Engineer
Eric Church   Composer
Arturo Buenahora   Executive Producer
Jeremy Spillman   Composer
Lynn Hutton   Composer
Travis Meadows   Composer
Luke Laird   Composer
Jeff Hyde   Composer
Ryan Tyndell   Composer
Michael Heaney   Composer

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