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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Zach Bryan album review

Photo Courtesy of Warner Records
Zach Bryan’s 2023 album cover

Zach Bryan’s highly-anticipated, new self-titled album, Zach Bryan, was released on August 25th, and within 24 hours of its release,the album’s 16 songs – which include collaborations with artists Kacey Musgraves, War and Treaty, Sierra Ferrell and the Lumineers – are all charting in the top 20s on US Apple Music.

Bryan started gaining a following in 2017 when a video of Bryan singing his original song “Heading South” went viral. He later went on to release his debut album DeAnn, named after his late mother in 2019; Since then, Bryan has released 3 more albums, including his most recent album, Zach Bryan.

As Bryan was making a name for himself in the world of country music, he was also an active duty aviation ordnanceman in the US Navy. He served from 2013 to 2021 until he was honorably discharged, looking to pursue his music career – in a strikingly similar process, the last person to be honorably discharged for this reason was the late Elvis Presley in 1960.

The release of this album is particularly important for Bryan as the album is entirely self-written and produced by himself.

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“I wrote and produced an album that I would want to listen to. I self titled it because I hear every cell of my being in it” Bryan stated in an Instagram post regarding the album.

I was really excited for this album because I enjoy how different Bryan’s music is when compared to common country artists like Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett who produce music with a more pop-oriented style. His songs are very ‘bare minimum’ when it comes to instrumentals, allowing for his unique voice to further grab the attention of the listener.

Of the 16 productions on the album, a few of my favorites are “Smaller Acts” and “East Side of Sorrow”.

“Smaller Acts” is a heartfelt love song that explores genuine and appreciative love of the simple things in life. Bryan sings about a woman who enjoys more meaningful moments in life rather than large gestures or materialistic items. I enjoy how simple this song is, not only because the only sound aside from Bryan’s voice is a lone guitar, but because it depicts how pure and uncomplicated love can still be. I think that society nowadays leads us to believe that love is taken for granted but this song beautifully disproves that idea.

“East Side of Sorrow” is a more depressing song that touches on the topics of loss, pain and frustration. Bryan talks about his experiences and confusion during his time in the military. A religious man, he found himself asking God where he had been while he had felt so lost. He sings about how God then gave him the will to make it through his emotions. This message reminded me of the verse, Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us”. To me, this verse reflects God’s promise that your situation will always get better, no matter how hard the present moment is – God will always get you through it. I really enjoyed this message in this song because I feel that it will be very encouraging for some who agree with the message of the song or understand Bryan’s emotions.

Overall, I give this album a 10/10. I was really excited for this album to be released and it exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend this album to anyone who is to anyone who enjoys older country music or enjoys relatable lyrical content.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Baumgartner
Sofia is a senior and Assistant Opinions Editor. This is her second year on the Gazette staff.

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