Eric Church has done it again, y’all. After what felt like forever waiting for this triple album to drop, he just released the first piece, Heart, and it is so. damn. good.
And there’s one track that, to me, is the obvious stand out and early favorite so far. I’ve only listened to the album a few times through, but when I first heard “Russian Roulette,” my jaw just about hit the floor.
I’m sitting there with my record player on, drinking beer and taking in the greatness that I already knew this album would deliver, when Eric opens the third track on side A with this:
“Yeah, I’m blowin’ the doors off this hang around town, Holdin’ this old gun metal grey Chevrolet pedal down, Lead foot in a steel toe, Out runnin’ the memories, rackin’ up miles”
But it doesn’t stop there. The concept of this song is that he’s essentially trying to outrun old memories of a girl in his car through music, but he keeps having to change the station to escape it because every tune that comes on the radio reminds him of her. Sound kind of familiar?
Well, he had a smash hit with a totally different perspective on a very similar idea, a little song called “Springsteen,” which he references further into this track:
“I need a melody without a memory, Take me where I’ve never been, I hear ‘em gunnin’ for me, I feel ‘em huntin’ for me, But I ain’t tunin’ them in”
Excuse me? I don’t know what he was on during his 28-day marathon in the North Carolina mountains writing and recording these songs, but it sure as shit worked.
When you listen to those lines paired with the perfect melody, acoustic/electric guitar magic courtesy of Charlie Worsham and Joanna Cotten absolutely murdering the background vocals… you have a bona fide masterpiece on your hands.
I have to admit, I was really skeptical when he said this project was the best work he’s ever done, as I’m quite partial to Sinners Like Me, but I might be starting to come around to that.