Zac Brown Band releases new album, ‘Jekyll + Hyde,’ in time for summer


On Tuesday, April 28, Zac Brown Band set the stage for a country summer with the release of their fourth studio album, “Jekyll + Hyde.”  Ahead of the release, the band performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Good Morning America” and made their debut on “Saturday Night Live” in March. Zac Brown Band’s last album, “Uncaged,” which was released in 2012, won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album, leaving big shoes for “Jekyll + Hyde” to fill.

Back in January, during the depths of winter, the band released “Homegrown,” the lead single for the new album, which has been near the top of the country music Billboard chart for a steady 15 weeks and currently resides at number three. Another single from the album, “Heavy Is the Head,” was released in March, while a third, “Loving You is Easy,” will be released in early May. Scoring a top position on the charts is nothing new for Zac Brown Band, however, with 16 of their singles having made it to the Billboard charts and 10 having achieved number one status.

Two tracks on “Jekyll + Hyde” are collaborations with other musicians. “Mango Tree” features singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and a vintage vacation vibe. “Heavy Is the Head” features singer-songwriter Chris Cornell and a rougher rock ’n’ roll edge. As far as country music goes, Zac Brown Band stands out with their ability to get their foot in the door of other genres. The ability for a music group to adapt and branch out is essential in today’s industry, particularly if the band can accomplish that task and still cultivate a recognizable, unique sound.

Driving on country roads with the windows down, morning, noon or night, is the perfect setting to listen to Zac Brown Band’s latest addition to their discography. Other stand-out summer-ready songs on the album include “Beautiful Drug,” “Loving You Is Easy”  and “Tomorrow Never Comes.” These tracks prove the band is not anywhere close to being burned out, as they maintain the classic flavor we know and love from their Atlanta roots. “Beautiful Drug” explains your fate when you are addicted to a beautiful girl; “Loving You Is Easy” contains a timeless, southern charm that is sure to get stuck in your head; and “Tomorrow Never Comes” completes the mix, with sentiments reminding listeners to live in the moment — live it up and drink it down in case “tomorrow never comes.”

Whether it be collaborations with other artists or simply a change in mood of the lyrics, Zac Brown Band succeeds at giving fans new music to love with each new single and album. The perfectly timed release of “Jekyll + Hyde” aligns it to be the soundtrack of endless summer sing-alongs and parties. The band’s new tour also begins this week and continues through the summer and fall.

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