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Marquette Wire

REVIEW: Zach Bryan self-titled album release

Country artist Zach Bryan released his album “Zach Bryan” Aug. 25. This 16-track album features several artists, including The War and Treaty, Sierra Ferrell, Kacey Musgraves and The Lumineers. Despite these features, Bryan self-produced the entire album.
Cover+of+Zach+Bryans+self-titled+album.
Photo by Belting Bronco Records
Cover of Zach Bryan’s self-titled album.

Country artist Zach Bryan released his album “Zach Bryan” Aug. 25. This 16-track album features several artists, including The War and Treaty, Sierra Ferrell, Kacey Musgraves and The Lumineers. Despite these features, Bryan self-produced the entire album

“I just wrote some poems and songs that I want to share because I think they’re special. Some of them are heavy, some of them are hopeful, but more than anything what’s most important to me is that they’re all mine,” Bryan wrote in an Instagram post.

“Zach Bryan” lets you know it is okay to feel alone, sad, happy, heartbroken and in love all while being your authentic self. I felt a connection between myself and Bryan when I was listening. He was able to encapsulate the emotions and struggles we all feel everyday.

I only recently became a country fan, and I have to say I love the sad and ominous feel this album brings. Immediately when I saw the album cover, I could tell this was going to be a calming and emotional album. 

His album starts off with a unique and personal song: “Fear And Friday’s (Poem).” This feels conversational — another way Bryan connected with listeners. “Fear And Friday’s (Poem)” sounds as if it’s recorded on a personal recorder in a room with his guitar. I feel like this was something super interesting because this adds to the entire aspect of his album and how life isn’t perfect, so making this poem sounds a little raspy fit perfectly with his concept.

I’ve seen some people giving Bryan backlash for this album because of how it could’ve been edited better,  or how Bryan shouldn’t have done this self-produced, but honestly, I would have to disagree. Music isn’t supposed to be perfect, because life isn’t perfect; “Zach Bryan” shows this. Not only do I — and most of his fans — already have his songs stuck in my head, but I truly felt like this album connected with me. 

You won’t find upbeat, fast paced tracks; instead, you’ll find some more emotional, slow and quiet feeling songs. I found myself listening to “Hey Driver,” “Spotless” and “Tournequitte” the most. Something about the catchy chorus of “Hey Driver” is on repeat in my head constantly during the day. 

A specific line in “Tournequitte” really stuck with me — along with a lot of fans. “If you need a tourniquet or if you wanna turn and quit, Know that I’ll be by your side.” This is such a powerful line, because he is talking about how if you need to be saved or if you have given up he’ll be with you. This is just another way that Bryan truly connects with the listeners and makes me feel like he understands us, not just singing to win awards.

I loved getting to listen to this album and explore more into Bryan and the vision he has for himself. This album definitely had different paced music than I would normally listen to, but “Zach Bryan” encapsulates everything it means to have a good day, a bad day and everything in-between. 

Bryan ends his post with, “Most of our lives are indifferent stints of time and if we’re lucky, we get small moments of joy, of sadness, of love, of hope and of music. I put everything I could in it and I am at a loss for words at what a blessing life is.” This perfectly encapsulates everything Bryan hopes listeners feel with his music, and he succeeded.

My favorite song: “Hey Driver”

I rate this album 5/5 stars.

This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sophie Goldstein, Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophie Goldstein is a sophomore from Glenview, Illinois studying journalism and is the Executive Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching reality television and playing with her dog. She is excited to begin her journey at the Wire, while exploring the stories everyone has to share at Marquette.

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