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Eric Church's "Chief" Reviewed

Eric Church almost crossed over a coupla years ago. Along with Jamey Johnson there was this sense where there these two rugged looking bad boys (they toured together) were gonna be the rock and rollers who modern rockers loved. The grandkids of Waylon, Cash and Haggard; good ol boys with drinking habits that are now vices and a way with losing women.

In 2009, the North Carolina gob came as close as he has gotten to a crossover hit, "Love Your Love The Most". A darn sight clever than your average Toby Keith (who he has also toured with).

So put Eric some where above Jason Aldean and below Brad Paisley with a nastier attitude and listen to his latest, Chief, where the nastiness is alcohol fueled and the band a raucous bunch of men who are getting older not smarter.

Some of this is real good. I could live without "Homeboy" but  I can't live without  "Jack Daniels" and "Drink In My hand" are first rate drinking songs; "JD" is a stormer of the first order, and one of the best explanations as to how alcohol becomes a problem. Meanwhile the guitar solo on "Drink In My Hand" makes a song that is clever anyway, extremely clever anywhere.

Both these songs are children of Paisley, at least to the sense where it isn't quite where it appears to be.

Some of the other numbers are less thrilling, "Keep On" is obvious", "I'm Getting Stone" a blues bore, and Springsteen? I guess this is to Church what the Stones was to Steve Earle: an OK chorus which is less a tribute than a nostalgia song. And has nothing to say about the rocker -not even musically,

Still, how bad can an album with a track called "Hungover And Hard Up" actually be?

Grade: B+ 

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