Track By Track Review: Brothers Osborne’s Debut Album “Pawn Shop” Is Pure Fire

Brothers Osborne are on another level. 

Their debut album was one of my most anticipated in recent memory and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Produced by the legendary Jay Joyce, (Eric Church, ZBB, Little Big Town) the instrumentation is really the shining star of the album. John Osborne is a guitar monster and he really cuts loose on the album, which as a guitar player, I absolutely love. Rich vocals, intriguing lyrics and a guest performance from the great Lee Ann Womack make Pawn Shop an incredibly special and unique album in the recent landscape of country music.

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“Dirt Rich”

The funky twang of the guitar riff perfectly matches the irony of the title. Make no mistake, this track is a head-bobber with a blue collar message we can all hop on board with. John Osborne gets real dirty on the guitar too. Fantastic slide licks.

“21 Summer”

Easy listener about remembering an old flame. Summertime has a way of holding more memories in our minds than other seasons and this captures that perfectly. Word on the street is this will be the next single.

“Stay A Little Longer”

It was a number one song for a reason. I remember the first time I heard it live and it’s probably been my favorite song ever since. John spends almost 3 minutes melting your face with an insane guitar solo and T.J.’s sultry vocals will captivate anyone with ears. Everyone I know loves this song. Everyone.

“Pawn Shop”

The title track is another one that is really driven by a slide guitar riff that I can’t get enough of. Really though, who doesn’t love the pawn shop. Guitars and guns in one stop, yes please.

“Rum”

“Rum” is the summer banger that got us all hooked on Brothers Osborne. Another track where that catchy guitar part is really what sticks in your mind. First day of nice weather here in Chicago, this baby will be wearing out the repeat button.

“Loving Me Back”

My God. The harmony between T.J. and Lee Ann Womack is pure magic, John shreds another soulful guitar solo and the lyrics give you that punch in the gut you’ve been missing from country music. It tells the story of man who realizes that his party lifestyle is leaving him “as empty as a bottle of Jack” and finds value and meaning in loving a woman. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

“American Crazy”

A unifying anthem of the American life we all live. We’re all different and yet at the same time we’re all just “American Crazy.” It’s a little cliche, but has a positive message for what is a fairly divided nation.

“Greener Pastures”

“Greener Pastures” is a funny tune about being stressed out, fed up and taking comfort in a little weed. The wordplay is pretty clever (co-written by Ryan Hurd & Maren Morris) and features an “Allman-esque” guitar solo. If you enjoy some green, then you’ll enjoy this tune.

“Down Home”

“Down Home” features another dirty little slide riff that drives the entire track. A small down, get down type of banger, this track really rocks. It echoes those backwoods parties that we all know and love. Solo is bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S.

“Heart Shaped Locket”

Our hero in this tune is questioning the fidelity of his lover. She’s doing some shady shit and he’s got a hunch she’s got someone else in her “heart shaped locket.” It’s kind of dark, but the groovy riff and the rhythmic vocals really make this juxtaposed track a toe-tapper.

“Ain’t My Fault”

This track rocks. HARD. An in your face “sorry for partying” tune is right in the Whiskey Riff wheelhouse. We had the police called on us for cranking this bad boy at four in the morning on a weeknight.

Blame the bar for the band // Blame the band for the song  // Blame the song for the party that went all night long

Whatever…. It Ain’t My Fault.

Conclusion:

This album is absolute fire. The instrumentation is simply amazing and John is a freak on the guitar. Each track leads with funky guitar work that grabs you immediately and T.J.’s deep vocals over lyrics that you can really get behind are the icing on this country-rock layer cake. It’s definitely different, but in the best possible way. One through eleven, this album has something for everyone and although it’s only February, we have an early front-runner for album of the year.

Standout Tracks

Stay A Little Longer

Loving Me Back

Greener Pastures

Down Home

Ain’t My Fault

Click here to download Pawn Shop on iTunes

Whiskey Riff is the most entertaining country site…ever.