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CD REVIEW: BRANTLEY GILBERT – Just As I Am

just-as-i-am-cover

Label: The Valory Music Company

Release Date: May 19, 2014

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Why is it some of the best rock records of 2014 are by country artists?  Don’t believe me, check out the latest from Brantley Gilbert.  The guy does no wrong.  “If You Want A Bad Boy” may not kick start like a Motley Crue track (you will have to wait a couple months for that), but just wait until the chorus kicks in – this song is about a hellraising, noise making, cycle riding bad boy.  What’s more rock than that?  Gilbert’s attitude and vocals!  “17 Again” keeps the good times rolling and the rock vibe intact.  The guitar work on this track nicely compliments the vocals and gives this track an edge, especially at the chorus and bridge.  “That Was Us” leans heavier to the country side of the tracks, but the musicianship on this song is top notch, as well as the vocals from Gilbert.  The lyrics, along with the tempo of the song, are sure to bring out the lighters at a live show.  “My Baby’s Guns N’ Roses” is a fun track that blends the rock and country world, from the riff underneath the track to referencing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City.”  The groove of the track gets the foot going and the blood pumping.  “One Hell Of An Amen” is an emotionally charged song that really draws you in if you forget the music and vocals and really listen to the track.  Don’t get me wrong, the vocals are great, the guitars full, and the rhythm section rounds out the track, but the story makes this track.

The big single, “Bottoms Up” has that country flare, but is not a twang fest at all.  This track features not only a cool guitar solo at the bridge, but a great rhythm section that keeps the song on time and energized.  “I’m Gone” gives the listener a look into the voice behind the man.  This ballad allows Brantley to sing from the heart, showcasing his voice and the way he blends in emotion to tell a story.  “Lights Of My Hometown” is another slower tempo song that morphs into a cool rock-country hybrid, full of guitar hooks and all around attitude.  The soaring guitar licks and solos throughout the track give this song an edge that other country tracks just don’t have.  “Small Town Throwdown” features a duet with Justin Moore, and both of these gentlemen drive this track from open to close.  The guitar riffs and chugging rhythm of the track make this one stand out.  “Let It Ride” slows the tempo of the disc down a bit and gives us another glimpse at the writer and man behind the songs.  The vocals bring the emotion out in the lyrics and sit perfectly against the guitar solo and the rest of the bands contribution to the song.  “My Faith In You” closes the disc out in big fashion, with the vocals that really show Gilbert’s range and talent as singer.  The guitars are steady and really step out during the bridge, even without a soaring solo.  The bass and drums keep everything moving nicely from open to close.  Who knew this third effort from Gilbert would eclipse Halfway To Heaven?  BG Nation – that’s who.

http://www.brantleygilbert.com

https://www.facebook.com/BrantleyGilbertMusic

https://twitter.com/BrantleyGilbert

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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  1. NEWS: TODDSTAR’S TOP 50 RELEASES OF 2014 | 100% ROCK MAGAZINE | 24 December 2014
  1. Gwynn says:

    I do just want to add Thomas Rhett is also on Small Town Throw Down. If you get the chance to listed to the other 3 tracks on the deluxe version I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as well. thanks for the great review of our BG!
    #bgnation
    Gwynn
    Fan since ’08

  2. Georgia says:

    Yes, BGNation knew. Thanks for great review and recognition of what some have know for a very long time.

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