Album of the Month: 'Zach Bryan': "I self titled it because I hear every cell of my being in it..."
Zach Bryan’s album release on August 25, 2023, was highly anticipated after the success of his single ‘Something in Orange’. When listening to the album, there is very little production. The rawness and husk of Bryan’s voice gives a sense of vulnerability to the album that audiences respect. The underwhelming production does well to carry Bryan’s message, and the simple backing melodies help to strengthen the story he is presenting. Zach Bryan’s voice and style are his strongest weapon, and what makes him instantly recognizable.
I interviewed students at Hackett to find out their opinions on the album.
When interviewing junior Thea Husovska I got a straightforward answer, “I don’t like country…so I hated it.”. When talking with her more she shared, “There’s not much variation in the songs, they all sound the same. The album itself has potential, and I understand that he is a man with a guitar expressing himself through music, but there isn’t enough depth that separates him from other artists in his genre.”
Senior Lexi Wild had a lot to say about the album, “I absolutely love it, he’s just a great artist.” Lexi has been a Bryan fan for a long time, so she was really anticipating the release of the new album. “All the songs resonated with me, and I appreciate his vulnerability and the rawness of the album.”
When listening to the album I was confused at what the overall theme and message of the album was. When doing more research into the album, I found a statement Zach Bryan released about the album on his Instagram.
“On the album: I’ve got no grand explanation for these songs, I got no riddle in reasoning behind writing them, I don’t have a bulls*** roll-out plan to stuff it in front of as many people as I can. I just wrote some poems and songs that I want to share because I think they’re special.” - Zach Bryan
After reading this, it was clear to me that there was no specific direction that this album was supposed to go, or a specific story it was meant to portray. Rather, Bryan’s album is a collection of memories, a photobook of happy and bittersweet moments.
“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. If people listen to it, I’ll be grateful, if people don’t I’ll still be grateful because I got the chance in this life to be original when it mattered.” - Zach Bryan
Regardless of your personal opinion regarding Zach Bryan's new album, it is impossible to deny the massive impact it has had. Zach Bryan’s self titled album, ‘Zach Bryan’, has peaked at number 1 in the Rock, Folk, and Country music charts. Clearly, Bryan has been effective at reaching audiences across large genre lines, as all 16 songs on the album are within the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.