“American Heartbreak” – Zach Bryan (2022) [english]

I thought about it a lot before writing about this album, but honestly I couldn’t ignore it in my column. I thought above all because, I’m going to tell you about two or three songs and not because it’s not worth it or there are useless songs, but because of the very nature of this project. I’ve already told you about this artist writing about his 2020 EP ( https://trexroads.altervista.org/quiet-heavy-dreams-zach-bryan-2020/ ) and I had pressed the button of his total anti-commerciality. A songwriter who does what he wants, not caring what he says or thinks the audience or the market. Its dazzling success began by chance, a streaming with friends from an Airbnb and many, many likes, shares. An audience that grew at sight and was waiting for a new record by Zach Bryan as the godsend. The only real difference with his previous works is that he signed for a world-class record company, Warner, but if you expect a commercial deviation of his music or his way of conceiving it, then you have the wrong address. Bryan, in the end, given his ID card, is a millennial (26 years old) and everything he does in music is heavily influenced by his generation. A generation that makes digital, streaming and like a way of being. But it has taken this to another level, to a level that has imposed its will on the major : in the end I bring you millions of streams and if you want me I’m like that. After breaking the records of his first music videos, with this record he broke the streaming record of the first day for a country record. Never happened. Do you want to know what is the strangeness? Why did I hesitate to tell you about American Heartbreak? For a simple reason : the work consists of 34 songs. Thirty-four! There were many revolutionaries in country music, in the ’70s the most famous called them Outlaws, they were the ones who had created their own sound, regardless of the Nashville market and the classic country. Here, Zach Bryan, in my opinion, will be remembered as a new revolutionary, one who, like the great Cody Jinks for example, took his music and decided to do with it what his mind wants and imagines. It’s impossible for me to tell you about the pieces, to pick out some of them, the most meaningful and the ones that most impressed me and to make a narrative out of them. Impossible. Every listening brings its own. If one imagines the work of recording a record, it is known that an artist has a list of pieces to choose from after having worked and maybe “scraps” to be exploited for later singles or b-sides. Zach took those pieces and put them on this record, he didn’t choose the best : he considers them all valid and we can’t blame him. You will find pieces that seem to have a few arrangements or live recordings and then think about the adjustments, but they are not. They are perfectly as you imagined them and therefore even more intense and incisive. The production and the musicians who follow him in this project have helped : he fits everything perfectly, like a tailor-made dress. The whole is totally the opposite of commercial if you think about it and for this even more brilliant, is a record of his generation, therefore without a physical support, but of a music totally anchored to the past. 34 pieces that embrace folk and country, but also rock, in a visceral way and with such a passion, that you will love the modern poems of this ex-sailor, who one day decided to make the world hear his music and found his life upset and twisted like a sock. It really is impossible to choose songs to mention, it would be easy to tell you that the single Something in Orange is a wonderful country ballad, a piece that Bryan’s beautiful voice enhances, acoustic, but with an electric character. The speed of Heavy Eyes is almost a bluegrass piece crossed by the sound of the electric guitar, Whiskey Fever seems to come out of a session with Johnny Cash, there is genius and desire to excite. There are pieces that seem to embrace street rock or deviate towards a radio air, but there is no banality in these lyrics, there are songs that you wish you hadn’t listened to or that you would have advised the good Zach not to include in this long list. Maybe some of them would have deserved more in-depth arrangements, but they do not go out of place and leave us with the impression that this guy is only at the beginning of a career that will remain written in the books of the history of American music. The album will probably take a lot of time and a lot of listening, to be appreciated and understood in full, today I could have these pieces among the favorites and tomorrow others, but it will be a pleasure to listen and listen to these songs, Delve into the hidden folds or be amazed by the sentences that maybe the first or second listening, I had ignored. A work that is a real revolution, one of those records that will be remembered for a long time and will be inspiring for other young artists looking for success. Success if it is too big and sudden, usually, ruins artists, makes them lose their compass and relegates them to extras in this dazzling world and sometimes (indeed often) ephemeral, but in these years Zach Bryan has shown the world that he has no intention of being carried by the current, but to have the talent and the right character to pilot him his ship and the journey, So far crazy, it seems to be just the beginning and we can’t wait to see where it will lead and whether the tours in front of thousands of people, will change it for the better or not. For now let’s enjoy a great record, one of the best of this 2022 and do not be frightened by the number of songs, close your eyes and let yourself be guided by the voice of a great artist in the wonderful journey that is this American Heartbreak.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/zach-bryan-american-heartbreak-2022-by-trex-roads/ )