Zach Bryan’s “American Heartbreak” Album Already Setting Records
Zach Bryan and his new album American Heartbreak are having a moment, and when all is said and done and the dust settles, it’s likely to ensconce the singer/songwriter among the very top artists in country music.
Though we won’t have the official numbers and chart placements for American Heartbreak until next week, all the signs are pointing up for the album. Upon its release, American Heartbreak set the record in 2022 for the most streams of a country album on both Spotify and Apple Music. It currently still sits at #1 on the iTunes country charts, and #4 all genre. American Heartbreak is currently on the path to rack up an estimated 70 million streams in its first week, not to mention the physical sales of the double CD set.
HITS Daily Double is currently projecting the album to move 67K units in physical albums and streaming equivalents over its first week, which would easily make it #1 in country over Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, and likely put it at #4 or #5 in all of music. If it wasn’t for the monster release from Harry Styles this week, and Kendrick Lamar’s last week, Zach Bryan would be competing for #2 or #3 all genre.
Of course, the fact that American Heartbreak is a 34-song double album is helping to goose Zach Bryan’s numbers. But that doesn’t tell the full story. Regardless of the amount of tracks, engagement with the album is massive. It just happens to be that with so many songs, it helps the numbers compound upon each other.
Zach Bryan is also getting a boost from Spotify, and it’s the first of its kind for a country music artist. In 2020, Spotify set up a program called RADAR US. It was created to spotlight up-and-coming music talent by giving them an opportunity to broaden their fanbase through a comprehensive marketing, content, and editorial campaign. Think of it as similar to iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge” campaign that puts extra spins behind an emerging artist at country radio.
Spotify has chosen Zach Bryan as the first ever country artist to be the beneficiary of the global program. The decision was announced last week ahead of the release of American Heartbreak. Zach’s song “Something in the Orange” appears on the #1 spot on the campaign’s official playlist, though the campaign’s reach goes much deeper. Interestingly, 49 Winchester’s song “Russell County Line” also appears on that RADAR US playlist.
“We saw that our listeners were responding to Zach early on with his stripped-down, salt-of-the-earth sound and honest lyrics,” says Rachel Whitney, Head of Editorial for Spotify in Nashville. “It has been incredible to see his growth over the past two years … His talent is undeniable, and his new music has already begun to reach chart-topping status. This is just the beginning, and we’re so excited to introduce him to a broader fanbase through our RADAR US program.”
As Saving Country Music reported in April of 2021, Rachel Whitney replaced the previous Spotify director John Marks. John Marks had held that position at Spotify since 2015, and was previously the Head of Country Music Programming at SiriusXM since 2010.
Where John Marks had been instrumental in helping to break big Bro-Country acts like Florida Georgia Line and Chase Rice at his position at Sirius XM, Rachel Whitney was important in identifying the swelling grassroots support behind independent artists such as Cody Jinks, and helped appropriately program these artists into playlists in her previous positions at Pandora and YouTube Music before joining Spotify.
When Rachel Whitney took the Spotify position, we wondered if she would help give more independent artists equal footing among their radio supported peers when artists proved resonance among listeners. Helping to push artists like Zach Bryan via Spotify’s RADAR US initiative might be an example of this. Zach’s songs have reportedly racked up some 1 billion streams now globally.
The implications of Zach Bryan going #1 in country go beyond Zach Bryan himself. With the increased emphasis on streaming, it’s become increasingly difficult for independent artists to achieve #1 album status like Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson did previously when a big debut in physical sales could put you over the top. But with Zach Bryan’s younger audience, he can compete with the Morgan Wallen’s of the world, and he very well might just beat them.
May 25, 2022 @ 10:48 am
Young, energetic, grassroots, country serving dude who seems to be a nice kid makes heartfelt and catchy music with real instruments and minimal production. When there’s so much morally bankrupt, overly marketed, overly produced machine driven drivel out there that dominates the landscape, the fact that our youngsters (and others) are so into this guy…I can’t find anything negative to say about that. I was surprised by some of the comments on the album review post. Y’all need to lighten up a little. Good for Zach, I love to see it.
May 25, 2022 @ 11:12 am
It’s gonna be interesting to see how many middle-aged Bro-country singers who willing sucked the corporate teet, try to copy this authenticity since its proved lucrative. Once you sell out, you can’t get your authenticity back.
May 25, 2022 @ 12:25 pm
“It’s gonna be interesting to see how many middle-aged Bro-country singers who willing sucked the corporate teet, try to copy this authenticity since its proved lucrative. Once you sell out, you can’t get your authenticity back.”
Never mind all the store bought breasts, anorexic/bulimic, tire pump inflated lipped, lingerie dressing corporate sucking “ladies” out there.
That’s why women like Sierra Ferrell, Brennen Leigh, Molly, are so refreshing.
Carly Pearce, Carrie, etc. need to be looking to these women as role models.
Never mind Emily Scott Robinson, who is inflating ala Dolly proportions, and trying to buy an edge.
Selling yourself to Borchetta & companies ideal, is still selling yourself.
Ashley will always have a better voice than Carly, but we all know ho’ing it out – sells.
Cracks me up how we have to go after & tear down Wallen to prop Zach up.
Seems to me Zach Bryan is surpassing all #’s.
Let’s throw everybody’s name out there
May 25, 2022 @ 12:46 pm
Exactly. The way the industry treated him in 2021 was an absolute disgrace. Banning him from award shows, taking him off playlists, that by the way he is STILL excluded from. Whatever you think of him personally, he had the biggest album of 2021, and connected with audiences via Dangerous in a way not seen in quite some time. 58 weeks as Top Country Album, and the likelihood of Dangerous winning Grammy’s and other major awards that were denied him, also seem like reality. I get that he isn’t this site’s favorite, but he’s the top dog in country music currently, and for good reason. Its not like he just lucked into the spot. Dangerous is a monster. He apologized, donated money, and seems like a good guy. Not sure what else people want from the guy. I never understood blacklisting him especially given the antics people like Isbell have engaged in. If you expect forgiveness, shouldn’t you allow and forgive others? Evidently Isbell disagrees. And those same folks like Mickey, Maren, and Isbell who slandered an entire city and millions of residents, along with the fanbases of country artists, yet those folks have no problem with the continued streaming and platforming of artists across genres who have done way worse than a drunken slur. No word from them on that. Its strange how these cancel culture folks seem to want to permanently ruin the lives and livelihood of anyone who doesnt tow the woke party line. Im glad Morgan doesnt. And Im glad that although nonpolitical, Zach doesnt either. American Flag is prominently featured in his art. God is prominent. Forgiveness is mentioned outright in lyrics. And he doesnt shame anyone for their beliefs. Im sick of being shamed for my beliefs.
May 25, 2022 @ 12:51 pm
maybe we don’t have to insult people for how they do or want to look.
May 25, 2022 @ 12:53 pm
“Cracks me up how we have to go after & tear down -Carly- to prop -Ashley- up.”
May 25, 2022 @ 1:19 pm
Ashley doesn’t need propping up
May 25, 2022 @ 2:34 pm
Calling Carly a “ho”? That is seriously uncalled for.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:15 pm
“Cracks me up how we have to go after & tear down Wallen to prop Zach up.”
There is absolutely nothing in this article tearing Morgan Wallen down. The only reason his name was brought up was because he happens to be the guy in the #1 spot that Zach Bryan is likely to overtake next week on the charts. Period. It could be Morgan Wallen. It could be Luke Combs or Chris Stapleton. Just consider the name “X.”
This is an article about charts and numbers. And as opposed to talking about the charts and numbers, the importance of the switch of Rachel Whitney and John Marks at Spotify, we’re rehashing Morgan Wallen and his bullshit again.
May 25, 2022 @ 1:53 pm
ZB is copying authenticity because its lucrative.
And its working for him.
And yes, its a good thing for the world to have singer songwriters making money.
I just find it a bit ‘in your face’ to the artists who work hard writing an album, paying session musicians and producers and releasing a conventional album that no one hears.
The stripped back, more ‘authentic’ sound is selling now, and ZB was right place, right time and just the right vibe. And enough talent to back it up.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 26, 2022 @ 2:50 pm
I really don’t think a 22 year old recording a bunch of songs into a laptop in an AirBnB was “copying authenticity,” haha.
From there, he definitely realized “Oh shit, people LOVE my ‘live’ sound! I don’t need to book studio time or take leave (or guitar lessons). I’ll be plenty popular doing my own thing in a damn barn.”
I will say that some of the spoken word stuff on this album felt a bit more mannered than the first two, though.
May 25, 2022 @ 11:17 am
Saving Country Music needs to have (Discarding Morgan Wallen) added on the homepage. You really do slip in your disdain for Morgan Wallen’s success every chance you get. Albeit more subtly now.
May 25, 2022 @ 12:22 pm
Meanwhile, on Twitter I’m Morgan Wallen’s biggest champion because I’m a racist just like him.
Not sure how you’re reading Morgan Wallen shade in this article. He currently has the #1 album in country, and so that is who Zach Bryan will be competing with for the #1 spot next week. It’s significant because Zach Bryan is not supported by radio and country music’s other major institutions. If you want to know my opinion on Morgan Wallen, his behavior, or his music, I’ve written plenty of articles on it.
May 27, 2022 @ 4:23 am
I don’t listen to Morgan Wallen’s music, and I don’t use Twitter. Calling me a racist is the same tired response everyone cancel culture warrior has.
May 27, 2022 @ 7:09 am
I didn’t call you racist, bud.
May 27, 2022 @ 10:26 am
It sure seemed like it was worded towards me, pal.
May 27, 2022 @ 12:10 pm
Exactly, Eric. I felt the response was ridiculous, you post reviews about artists and albums and sometimes people push back. To clutch pearls and act offended is rather silly. Morgan Wallen’s music is amazing, and millions of fans agree with that, including myself. And it also seems Im in the minority, in that I absolutely am smitten with this Zach album. To be a pearl clutcher when the visitors to this site push back on either of those topics discussed by the reviews, I dont understand that response. The Morgan reviews are negative. Thats a legitimate opinion to have. Many many folks totally agree. Probably the majority of SCM fanbase would agree too. But to be shocked, absolutely shocked when someone says those reviews are biased and not fair towards Morgan, yeah.. I dont understand that. I loved the Zach review precisely because it did what the Morgan reviews didnt: try to get into the heads of the growing number of die hard Zach disciples who share and speak about his music like Gospel verses. Respectfully pushing back is in the charter, especially given every time I engage in it, it is always “I love this site, and the author of this article, but…”. Even in this here post, I’ve been respectful not only to the author, but also those folks who dislike Morgan and Zach even though I love both. Not sure what else could be done to bend over backwards to folks who disagree. Especially considering many of the posts on those previous Zach reviews and previous Morgan reviews were way over the line in terms of dislike. They certainly didnt frame their dislike as just “this isnt for me”, as Eric did. It was visceral, rude, and unkind hatred. That doesn’t seem like the community we need to foster here. If the understanding is we all love country music, and we all do, lets act like adults and allow what the charter says, respectful criticism, and to see the positive in posters and others. Look at the world right now, folks. Isnt that attitude and outlook the one we need to pursue? Its the one Im going with, not sure about y’all!
May 27, 2022 @ 4:27 am
20’s and 30’s aged women are Wallen’s biggest fan base. What a bunch of racists.
Also…How dare anyone sing/quote every lyric on a rap cd marketed to them too.
May 27, 2022 @ 12:30 pm
This! I said the idea was that the Morgan coverage wasnt fair. What does a review of Zach have to do with Morgan anyway, the jab at him was unfair and unnecessary. When you bring another artists into a review or conversation that has nothing to do with them, and its negative, why wouldn’t you expect some people pushing back at you? He said multiple times he gets flack from both sides, about it, so I dont know why its such a surprise, someone in this comment section would say, “hey lets not go after Morgan”. Jabs at him are ridiculous and he “served” his time. He apologized and donated money and seems back on track. Its just sour grapes at this point if you go after him, beyond the acceptable “this isnt for me”, which I get 100%. If you write a review about Ford Trucks, but also bring up Chevy’s and Mercedes and Lexus in the review. I would guess some people would mention Chevys, Mercedes and Lexus in response to the review and depending on your and the audiences feelings towards those cars, you’d get varying responses.
May 25, 2022 @ 11:59 am
Stunning to see. Ive fallen in love with this album like none other, been years since Ive loved an album like this. No lie, Ive had this on hours long repeat for 5 days now. I can’t listen to anything else. I dont want to listen to anything else. My sense is I am not alone in this. Albums in 2022 and the streaming age don’t usually get this type of engagement with fans. Even your favorite country albums of 2020 or 2021, how many times did you listen to them? Usually we listen a few times, form an opinion and move on to the next thing. American Heartbreak is an album I want to listen to over and over again, and have. I don’t know how many times Ive listened to this thing in full, its gotta be in the 30s or 40’s by now if not more. Trigger in his original review listed reasons for why this album seems to be hitting people in a way few albums ever do, and certainly few country albums ever have. Why would someone like myself want to spend literally the last 6 days, listening to American Heartbreak in a constant loop, listening to it upwards of 5-6 hours a day if not more. Why is that? The heartfelt lyrics that read as literal poetry, the honesty in his delivery, the pure country nature of the production and instrumentation (usually just him, his guitar, drums and a fiddle). These songs are already, 6 days in, a part of me in way that few albums will ever achieve. We are living and breathing this album at this point. At some point I know I will move on to another artist, another album, 6 days and dozens of spins of this thing, and I can confidently say, that time seems far far away. This album is very special.
May 25, 2022 @ 12:51 pm
Worth noting he’s going on tour and playing Red Rocks/recording a live album there I believe.
May 25, 2022 @ 1:12 pm
Also says might be his last tour.. Head Scratcher.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:19 pm
Yes, him and Barbara Streisand, and Sturgill Simpson retired the week before he released “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” and the Turnpike Troubadours are never getting back together. Ever.
Artists love to act fatalistic. Maybe Zach won’t tour after this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point, I’m not even sure if that remark is newsworthy.
John R Baker
May 26, 2022 @ 10:31 am
Good point. It wouldn’t surprise me if tour life is stressing him out though. It’s tough. It’s got to be a lot more fun to make scenic performance videos for youtube in rural Washington.
I’m sure after this record he could easily hook up with a publishing company and make a good living just writing as well.
May 27, 2022 @ 1:11 pm
I doubt it. He has a “thing” when he records his own songs himself, but he doesn’t have enough structure to pitch commercially. It’s brutal out there.
May 25, 2022 @ 1:47 pm
There is room for Morgan Wallen and Zach Bryan. Both have some good songs. Give it a rest.
May 25, 2022 @ 2:32 pm
I love both. The problem is this site is literally about calling Nashville out on unauthentic cookie cutter nonsense. Im less judgmental than someone like Trigger or Grady about Nashville. I love it all. If its country, I love it. Most on this site and the general country loving public feel the same. I dont check the major label or lack thereof status of an artist when I hear a good tune. Good country is good country. I think the problem is how judgmental this site is about Morgan, a pass could be given considering how divisive and controversial he is as a person and artist. Sadly lots of people, incorrectly and disgustingly, make harmful statements about Morgan fans. Shouldn’t be that way. Dangerous is undeniably great. It wasnt just luck for him. Those are fantastic tunes still ruling the charts a year and a half later. Like Zach, maybe this site should try and understand why Dangerous and Morgan are so beloved by people. Nah, its better to judge! With Zach, the same thing happens. Trigger said most if not all previous posts about Zach were filled with people saying negative things about the music. And the post the other day was filled with folks saying, “yeah…I dont get it”. Its silly, really. People complain about Morgan because I guess its a sin to be a commercial artists making bangers and being the top dog. And I guess its also a sin when a real, grassroots, organic, honest, heartfelt musician comes along, and we sit on the site and go “gee, this isnt for me”. Choose a lane, people! I will ride for Dangerous until the day I die without apologies. And its day 6 of American Heartbreak on a nonstop loop for hours every day. Caint tell me nothing different!
May 25, 2022 @ 3:31 pm
Why in the fuck are we still talking about Morgan Wallen here? It is really that hard to understand his name was only brought up in relation to being in the #1 spot on the country charts at the moment?
“maybe this site should try and understand why Dangerous and Morgan are so beloved by people.”
Here’s NINE ARTICLES from “this sits” that were posted directly defending Morgan Wallen from the hysteria after the “n” word incident. Maybe you should try and understand this site’s approach to Morgan Wallen.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:39 pm
Dude, relax! You said yourself you get flack from people about your opinion on Morgan. You said yourself you believed he should face extreme punishment for his actions. I am pushing back, thats not an unbiased view of Morgan. Thats an agenda. This site is about calling out the nonsense in commercial country in Nashville. The idea that a Trump supporter like Morgan, gets in trouble, and makes music this site dislikes, fits into a narrative, quite nicely. Isbell has done similar things but is viewed as some modern day Dylan, breathlessly reported on. Isbell is rude, condescending, snooty and has middling quality music. Yet because he’s viewed as an indie/outsider he gets a pass? How is that fair? You said yourself the Zach posts in the past were filled with nasty comments. Why is that? How about those Morgan posts? Were they filled with articles writing about how millions of fans connected to Dangerous and the amazing songs? Were posters talking about how they got the music? Stop taking your anger out on me, Trigger. I want the same thing you do. The difference is I think its possible to accept, forgive, and even love the music of the “evil” Nashville sheen. Country music is country music. Please stop, Trigger.
May 25, 2022 @ 4:26 pm
#1 – You have posted and attempted to post under four different aliases in this comments section alone, and I’m now seeing where you have done this in other comments sections as well. This is a clear rules violation. Pick one handle to post under. Everything else will be deleted.
#2 – You brought “this site’s” supposed bias against Morgan Wallen and I addressed it. I have many other things I could be doing other than responding to your comments, and that’s what I took time to do, offering ample evidence that your accusations were unfounded.
#3 Again, this article has little if nothing to do with Morgan Wallen. He is simply the name of the person currently in the #1 position on the country charts. Otherwise, there is no comparison being made between the two.
#4 – ANY comments from ANYONE in this comments section subsequently about Morgan Wallen will immediately be deleted. It is an unnecessary distraction from the topic at hand, and the commenters who have brought Wallen up have irresponsibly and disrespectfully veered the discussion in this inappropriate direction, including some using multiple aliases.
HAVE A NICE DAY!
May 25, 2022 @ 4:34 pm
Thanks, I want to use this alias. You can delete all other comments under the previous ones, I appreciate it. I wasnt aware that was a rule, I apologize. Would be helpful if that was in print and a rule, I cant follow rules Im not aware of. Additionally the site allows people to change their alias, by not binding them to one and sticking with it. If we all had profiles and accounts then we all could stick to one. I assume you have my IP and email address, so its not like theres anything nefarious going on, suggesting otherwise isnt being genuine. If you want people to stick to one alias, please make it binding and allow us to create accounts and profiles. Otherwise, you cant really come at us and imply criminal behavior because we switch aliases, which isnt an illegal behavior. Rules need to be open, transparent and public. Coming at me for not following a rule that isnt and wasnt clear is not my fault. I will abide by that rule, because I love this site, but its on an honor system so I hope you are monitoring others as well, and not just selectively enforcing it. Im literally creating aliases out of lyrics I like, literally everyone is a Zach song lyric. Creating this boogeyman like Im gaming the system or some nefarious loser is hurtful and completely dishonest. Id appreciate some understanding on your part.
May 27, 2022 @ 1:31 pm
The reason for all this IMHO is that much or Wallen’s current success is due to culture war spite. He was doing pretty well then they tried to cancel him. So he put out a big album with the obvious marketing “Dangerous” and sold a whole lot of records on notoriety and reaction as much as music. Just like ,say, Marilyn Manson.
The problem us that culture war bullshit is all based on victimization and people feeding on that have to find it everywhere.
Other than that I really don’t care much about Wallen one way or the other. He’s a fine singer but can’t write so well IMO so he doesn’t interest me personally.
May 25, 2022 @ 4:46 pm
We’e got to remember to be kind. Not everyone sees the world like Nashville bad, indie all good. I like most, enjoy all country. Snapping at people isnt kind nor is it helpful. We all want the same thing. Seems maybe we need to be kinder about it. We ALL have things we want to do and could be doing. Understanding that I think is key. I dont want to break any rules or offend anyone. Or cause trouble. Being blamed for something multiple people did, and then being told of a rule that isnt public, nor was it anywhere on the site, just seems like trying to be unnecessarily unkind. Please look into allowing us to create accounts and profiles. Who wouldn’t like to see a pic of a favorite album cover as an avatar every time they post? Id love it. I think AH would look nice as an avatar. Allowing a free for all without accounts or designated profiles, allows users to change names. Going after people who don’t stick to one name, when the system in place here allows us to alter our names, the problem is that rules arent in stone in this case. When it is, I think, the problem wont exist. Had the option been there when I started coming to this site, to create a username, and profile, my name switching wouldn’t have occurred. I would have stuck to one name and one name only. Id look at tinkering the system to allow profiles and accounts.
May 25, 2022 @ 5:14 pm
The issue is that you veered the discussion into the topic of Morgan Wallen as opposed to the topic at hand. The fact that you were using multiple aliases which can create the perception that multiple people want to discuss Morgan Wallen in a Zach Bryan article made it worse. The ultimate rule of the comments section is to stay on topic. Otherwise, it turns into a mess, like this comments section did. The system does not allow for multiple aliases. When you started using multiple aliases, it began sending your comments to moderation. This is when I discovered the issue. You are free to post here and I try to keep this comments section as open as possible. But that only works when folks respect the community, and the topic being discussed.
I appreciate your understanding.
May 25, 2022 @ 5:40 pm
I agree, I dont want to cause problems, I admit I did use multiple alias, but the fact I did means the system does in fact allow for it. Id consider looking into allowing us to create actual profiles and accounts. Im sure you are aware of many sites that allow that. Like an online forum or something. Stereogum or something similar. You create an account, email address, profile and sign in. I looked at the charter and no mention of alias changing is discussed. As you can now see, Ive posted about 6 comments under this specific alias, and am sticking with it. I did notice the charter mentioned being more positive than negative, and engaging with negativity with positivity and discussion. Id appreciate your understanding and participation in that aspect too. Being unkind isnt called for, and nailing me and calling me out for a rule that isnt mentioned on this site and is allowed by definition (again the solve for this is requiring registration, if I did it and you caught it, what makes you think others dont do this or havent in the past?) Seems a little like a bunch of kids goofing off and writing up one kid as opposed to the entire class. Im glad to hear you want discussion free and open, I think thats important. But I brought up something that was brought up by you in the article. An article that hypothetically mentions multiple artists and then when a poster talks about one of those artists, thats not off topic. And additionally, the comments go both ways. You mentioned your post about Zach the other day got alot of comments in praise of the album and more hits and comments than usual. I posted under various aliases, all Zach lyrics, and posted praise for him yesterday. You can track them as they are all similar to this one, 5 or 6 word Zach lyrics. But there were other people on this thread who also posted about off topic stuff and they weren’t reprimanded. You have my IP and my email address, I dont appreciate making it seem like Im doing anything illegal. Id encourage you to make the logical step for the future, for me and others, and create the actual rule, about not changing aliases. And even better, which would solve it 100% and immediately would be a site wide required logging in and making an account to post. I’d appreciate your understanding on that, Trigger. I can abide by that rule now, and I have been for 6 posts. But being told off because I wasnt aware of it originally, and its nowhere to be found on the site rules, and the system allows for it, Im not happy about that part. I will abide by the rule going forward, but Im not going to apologize for alias switching prior to being aware of it though. That seems rather silly. Lots of people derailed the conversation, I was the only one you called out. Im not a fan of that. Please, make posts requiring an account creation. Thank you, and lets focus on this amazing record. I have been doing that. Ive made literally 20 posts about my love of Zach and AH. Lets talk about the album, then. I cant think of a better country album in the last decade.
May 27, 2022 @ 2:06 pm
I disagree. Morgan and Dangerous were both ridiculously big prior to the scandal. He had major success with Diplo the year prior, people were obsessed with 7 Summers, and Dangerous was out about a month before the scandal broke. I dont know if many folks got into him to spite the woke mind virus crew. Regardless, the album and Morgan were the biggest artist of 2021. I think if anything it worked in the reverse way you suggest. Those who agreed with Morgans politics and hate woke country diversity quotas nonsense, were already fans of Morgan to begin with. His scandal wasnt going to sway them one way or the other. The people who seemed to care about it, and who continue to care about it, are those on the left who might have liked 7 Summers or Heartless prior and when the scandal broke, deleted Morgans discography from their phone. For me, I was a fan prior, and playing the album last year had nothing to do with trying to start trouble or cause controversy. I thought and still think its an incredible album. As I said, if you were to wear a Dangerous shirt from his merch site, out in public, anyone already a fan would go, “right on, dude”. The people triggered, would be those who hate Morgan for his beliefs and those that believe if you run afoul of the woke mind virus you deserve to never work or make money ever again. I know which side Im choosing, and it involves listening to Dangerous.
May 27, 2022 @ 2:41 pm
Send me a “Dangerous” baseball cap.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:13 pm
Not really sure how people keep getting hung up on Trig’s Wallen comments.
One dude has (had) the full weight of the machine behind him on his release. He was on The Voice. His band was hand picked for him by management. He was on the Big Loud roster with Joey f**kin Moi on the boards.
The other recorded his debut album on probably less than a couple grand worth of equipment in an AirBnB, tours with his friends, and doesn’t seem to care about appearing polished – even after having access to Dave Cobb and a host of other well known producers. He chose to largely DIY it.
It’s not to say one is better than the other. It’s just highlighting the stark contrasts in the rise and popularity of the two, and approach.
And for the record, before I get accused, I like both. Someone has to collect those radio dollars, and I definitely have my preferences.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:37 pm
Hope Zach’s divorce doesn’t derail him.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 25, 2022 @ 6:34 pm
The divorce happened before this album was recorded.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:49 pm
Album sounds like Mumford and sons and the lumineers had a baby. Pass.
May 25, 2022 @ 3:59 pm
Disagree. Its album of the year. I havent heard a better country album this year.
May 26, 2022 @ 7:26 am
Nope, hipster Emo country.
John R Baker
May 26, 2022 @ 10:40 am
It does get an indie folks rock sound but his weakest writing is better than their best. He’s a much bigger talent than anyone doing just that style IMO. And he does several perfectly good country songs on it as well.
May 25, 2022 @ 4:09 pm
Not a fan of Zach’s or Morgan’s music as they aren’t my type of “country”. Have to admit though with this Zach and Morgan talk I’m looking forward to Morgan cutting a better version of one of Zach’s songs like he did with Jason’s Cover Me Up.
May 25, 2022 @ 4:37 pm
Haha! Id love to hear a cover song! Them on tour together would be pretty incredible. The new kid in town and the superstar in one bill. A cover album by either would be alot of fun. I think Zach could do a pretty incredible Dylan. Or Springsteen.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 25, 2022 @ 6:37 pm
Can’t wait for another absolutely bloodless bro-country version of a personal song by a legit songwriter to be lapped up by this site’s “audiophiles.”
May 25, 2022 @ 7:02 pm
You too? Glad I’m not the only one.
May 25, 2022 @ 7:10 pm
I thought he made it 100 times better. More of a sing along, Isbells version is like a funeral dirge, slow, and boring. Id rather sing along the chorus with 20,000 other folks, myself. I also prefer Zac’s Dress Blues. He brings more color to it. Isbell seems like an old coot to me. I could forgive Isbell for “not getting it” and actively trying to better himself and understand it. Theres a world of difference between that and what he does which is essentially to flaunt his ignorance and thumb his nose at those who dont vote like him, or who evidently arent Christ in flesh like him.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 25, 2022 @ 7:12 pm
…so many words to say “I own every season of the Glee Soundtrack on vinyl.”
May 25, 2022 @ 7:19 pm
Or I am so high off my own supply that I think I alone decide what is good and what is not. Id take Glee over “White Mans World” and Isbell telling me to make “Vote Blue in Georgia, folks!”, any dang day of the week. If thats what gets your country mind turning, all means go for it, dude! I personally dont like to be lectured by a self righteous, intolerant and snooty musician who has as much feeling as a pet rock. Not thanks!
Cool Lester Smooth
May 26, 2022 @ 6:33 am
I mean, you’re more than free to deprive yourself of dozens of excellent songs because an artist’s personal Twitter feed isn’t a “safe space,” haha.
(Seriously – it’s pretty clear Cover Me Up, Dress Blues, and White Man’s World are the Isbell songs you’ve ever heard of. I’m guessing you’re like 20?).
Meanwhile, I’m free to make fun of folks gassing up a pretty-boy reality TV contestant who can’t even successfully borrow authenticity.
I love a good cover. Wallen’s Cover Me Up decidedly falls into the territory of John Mayer’s Free Fallin’ or One Direction’s Teenage Dirtbag (a far sight from even middling covers like Mundy’s Galway Girl or Tim McGraw’s Angry All the Time), as does Brown’s Dress Blues.
May 26, 2022 @ 9:57 am
You do you, my friend. Id rather listen to someone with ethics, morals and isnt an out of touch, jealous addict. But hey, thats just me! We each can make our own decisions. Im not into supporting “woke” lecturers who act like they havent made mistakes. Jason is the walking embodiment of that, both the major mistakes and the shocking and tone deaf inability to forgive and give grace for those who do the same. Am I wrong in thinking he also has used his twitter to essentially say, If you are a red stater, I dont want you as a fan, at my shows, or listening to my music? Sure seems like a nice dude! White Mans World and that Georgia vote project are blatant woke virtue signaling. Caint tell me different
Cool Lester Smooth
May 26, 2022 @ 1:21 pm
Son, White Man’s World is when I break the seal at Isbell concerts.
It’s really just not a good song. Melody’s crap, and the lyrics read like stream-of-consciousness journaling that he should have transformed into a story.
(I also take a leak if he plays “Anxiety”)
I just don’t get folks who are so triggered by its existence that they go on blubbering rants in comment sections on music sites…and deprive themselves of “If We Were Vampires.”
May 26, 2022 @ 3:18 pm
I’ll look into those other songs. I’m not 20. But yeah, I find his personality a turnoff, and kind of not the best look of your trying to convert someone to be a isbell fan, to insult my music taste. This isn’t grade school. As I said, he has made crystal clear someone like me isn’t welcome as a fan. Are you really that shocked I’d be hesitant to listen to him as a result? Like, is that really such a surprise to you? This site covers lots of artists, sure. But just writing 20 articles on some dude doesn’t mean it’s not slanted or with a specific bias against the artist. And I fully admit if Trigger hired me, I’d favor Zach and wouldn’t write such a great review of Isbell. That’s sort of what I’m having trouble understanding. Seems the majority of SCMs readers dislike the album and disagree with Triggers positive review. And we are all within our rights to do so under the charter. I clearly am in the minority as I love this thing. Day 7 on repeat. Yet there are other reviews where I personally disagree with the slant. And that should be okay as well. Picking and choosing who can object to reviews is nonsensical. Post whatever you want and review what you want but to act violated and clutch pearls when someone respectfully pushes back, nah son. Same with you, you are well within the right to not like Zach or the album. Publishing reviews of albums and allowing comments you need to be accepting of criticism of your work. Otherwise don’t publish it, or disallow the public from commenting. Especially given that’s explicitly in the charter. Criticism, respectful criticism is pretty basic stuff. Cause if you think “I love this site and think the reviewer is a good guy, but here is where I disagree” is upsetting, ohhh boy, imagine the big boys at major news outlets!
Cool Lester Smooth
May 27, 2022 @ 3:47 am
Have you tried…not looking at the guy’s Twitter, haha?
He’s always been a dick there, and being stuck inside for a couple years made him wayyy worse.
If you like Zach’s stuff you’ll love Southeastern, which basically exists as a 12 song summary of what Zach is trying to do.
Live From Alabama has my favorite versions of his older stuff (including Dress Blues)…and zero politics:
(Anyway, he’s never said he doesn’t want “Red Staters” listening to his music. The guy was born and raised in rural Alabama! The context for those statements is usually “I don’t care if I lose fans by being political. I have enough fans…and anyone who swears off my music forever because of a song or a tweet is probably a dick anyway.”
May 27, 2022 @ 4:17 pm
As someone who has about 20 covers of “Galway Girl” in their song rotation. What is the issue with that particular version? I haven’t heard yet.
I think Fiddler’s Green does the best version, IMO.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 27, 2022 @ 5:29 pm
Mundy’s is a damn solid cover! I’ve seen him play it live!
My point was that Mundy’s version of Galway Girl is how I define a “good” cover.
Cash on Reznor is a perfect one.
Wallen and Brown’s versions of Isbell are One Direction covering Teenage Dirtbag.
May 27, 2022 @ 6:18 pm
I reread your comment. I now better understand the context. Last time I try to read comments after hardcore surgery. Haha
Yes, Cash did excellent work on Reznor.
I haven’t listened to the originals by Isbell or the covers. So I can’t render judgment on the running discussion. Isbell is a singer that I need to check out more of his music (so many singers. So little time.) I am sure you know he and I definitely wouldn’t agree politically but he will be given a fair shot.
Actually, now that I recall, I did hear Brown’s cover of “Dress Blues.” It didn’t excite me. But that entire album of his was bipolar.
Now off to listen to Mindy’s Galway Girl.
May 26, 2022 @ 7:04 pm
Wallens version of Cover Me Up is nowhere near as good as the original.
May 25, 2022 @ 4:51 pm
The lyrics on AH are a gift that keeps on giving. Every listen yields more stunning lines. The guy has unbelievable chops in terms of lyrical mastery. The fact he is in his 20’s is ridiculous. It reads as actual poetry set to acoustic guitar. Stunning stuff.
May 25, 2022 @ 5:51 pm
I think the
I absolutely love the instrumentation on this album too, the lyrics and voice get, rightly, the praise, but there is strings and the guitar is great too. Its so on point. Literally every listen I hear something new, a guitar line, strings I didnt hear on first, tenth, twentieth listen. This is a monster of a record. Golly!
Also, if my comments were constantly in “wait for moderation for approval mode”, why did they keep getting approved if they were off topic? Haha. I am not the mod, if posts were off topic they should be removed. But if they arent removed, who’s fault is that? If they kept getting through, and I wasnt aware of that rule, how is that my issue? Who was allowing the posts to go through? And you had my consistent email for every post and my IP. Hardly a stealthy and outrageous breach of conduct. Just sayin, dude. That and being more kind to me when I clearly love music and am eager to talk about it and the articles posted, is more than a little upsetting. Going after me was uncalled for. The charter calls for kindness and being positive as opposed to negative. Lets practice that, God knows this world needs that especially at this time. Why create and engage in more anger?
May 26, 2022 @ 10:47 am
I don’t care what alias you use, it’s your Terrible taste in music that’s the problem…
May 26, 2022 @ 11:27 am
I didnt post the article, haha! Ask the person in charge here why they post a bunch of articles on Zach. Trigger said most if not all previous posts about Zach had people saying how much they hated the music. I’ve been posting dozens of times about why I love Zach and this album. I’d ask Trigger about that if you feel like it doesnt reflect your tastes. I dont know what you’d rather him cover, but this is the biggest country album at the moment and the dude is undeniably on the rise. Whether you like the music is up to you, but a little silly to be surprised people are geeking out about the album. Clearly his music isnt popular among this sites users, Ive listed dozens of times why I think its amazing music and Album of the Year and I think he’s a remarkable talent, but Im not the one posting these articles in the first place. Not my call, dude!
May 26, 2022 @ 12:01 pm
I wasn’t talking about the article, I completely understand why Trig would cover someone who’s blowing up in the scene. Even if its not something I care for. I was referring to the drooling, fawning and unbearably corny comments that you seem to keep making.
May 26, 2022 @ 12:19 pm
I caint help you, dude. Im going to be hyping Zach, this album, and others mentioned in the article. Thats what country is about. As I said, this site covers lots of folks. We as commenters are allowed and obligated to voice our contentment with the coverage and review and of course also our disagreement. You are free to not listen to Zach, no ones stopping you. I see no shame in repping for an artist I love. The other possibility is a bunch of stodgy and stuffy commenters going “BORING! This sucks!”. I guess thats another way to deal with these things. As I said before, comments go both ways. As it says in the charter, you have to be willing to be open to criticism and take it. Being kind. Open for discussion and seeing the positive in posters and things. I think we all could stand to re-read the charter. What are you asking me to do? Temper my excitement and love of this album? Umm…Why? Comments go both ways, if you recognize the overwhelmingly negative response to artists you post about on this site, why cover them? Im sure there are plenty of artists that this site would be in majority agreement in their love for. Yet, the funny thing is, Trigger mentioned how the American Heartbreak review got a ton of comments, overwhelmingly positive. Who was spearheading that? Me. He even mentioned all the positive comments. You think that was the because a ton of this site fell in love with Zach? Doesn’t appear thats the case. As I said, we’d all do well to re-read the charter. Cursing and acting silly is kind of ridiculous, especially given what a world of trouble we are in right now in society. We wouldn’t be on this site unless we all loved country music. But to suggest this is “life” or incredibly important is unbelievably naive and childish. Nitpicking on things like changing aliases, which if was really important the site would require you register before posting. It doesnt require that so it seems to me that isnt important, and it was lashing out. Im here to talk about Zach and the album, and have been. We need to be able to discuss it though. Strawman arguments like “changing aliases are illegal”, seem really cheap shots in terms, especially as I said, if my comments were being moderated before approval, who let them through? Wasn’t me doing the modding! The solutions for the scary boogeyman of changing aliases is simple, do what every forum has done since 2003, require registration before posting. Dude has my IP and email address consistent on every post and he’s acting like this is Snowden or something. Kind of silly. As I said, look at the news my friend. People fighting about changing aliases seems really childish right now and its a blatant breaking of the charter rules. We ALL are on edge, instead of respect, kindness, discussion and seeing the positive in others, I certainly wasnt granted that. Thats a problem, dude.
May 26, 2022 @ 12:34 pm
I thought Trigger was incredibly tone deaf in his response to me. He said something like “the system doesn’t allow you to choose aliases”. Dude, how the heck was I able to do it then, and why is it still possible now? You can enter anything in the required name and required e-mail box before posting. Who set up that system? Require accounts and registering and problem is solved but to go after someone for a “rule” that isnt specified anywhere on the site, is frankly, dumb. Its lashing out. As was the cursing and being peeved. Any forum Ive ever been on requires you register to post. Why is this site different? Who wouldn’t change aliases under this system? Its not like my handles were illegal or obscene, they literally were 5 or 6 lines from various American Heartbreak songs, just as this handle is. And thats a topic of reprimanding? Really? If reviews seem to trash artists we like, why is that not something we can push back on? And it wasnt like I went full on rage. Literally every time I criticized it I lead with “I love this site and I love Trigger, he seems like a good guy”, yet he acted like I was being unreasonable. I read reviews about the artists mentioned and felt they were negative and unfair. They weren’t unbiased. And I respectfully pushed back. I will continue to do so, with respect and kindness. As I continually said, I love this site and Trigger is a good guy, but I disagreed with those reviews and think they are unfair.
May 25, 2022 @ 8:59 pm
David: The Duke of Everything
May 25, 2022 @ 9:14 pm
Well I consider this a country album about as much I considered old time road or whatever it was by that rapper a country song but that’s ok. Hopefully it does well for him.
May 26, 2022 @ 12:48 pm
Why is it being covered on the site then? If the reviews are overwhelmingly negative among SCM readers, why is this something that deserves ink spilled on it? Beyond myself, who else is hyping the album and loving it? Id think the site would be better served if it covered artists the majority of readers enjoyed. Because when I post about loving Zach and the album Im told to temper my love of it, to not rave about it, and to not be gushy about the album. So why is this artist continually being talked about? Trigger made it clear he’s not making reviews for me and made his opinion of me clear, so he’s ignoring the tastes of the vast majority of SCM fans? Flipping it around, who are some artists Trigger SHOULD cover instead?
David: The Duke of Everything
May 26, 2022 @ 2:47 pm
Trigger can review any album he wants. There are a lot of people that like it, love it even. I never said anything to the effect that he shouldnt cover it. There is a lot of music talked about on here and a lot of it isn’t country. I have zero issue with that. So I don’t know what your issue is
May 26, 2022 @ 2:54 pm
He certainly can. And we are choose to push back respectfully on reviews or to hype up the artists in the reviews as the case may be. I agree. I have no idea where the issue is here. As long as it’s in agreeance with the charter I see no issues. I’m here to enjoy country music and talk about the artists I’m passionate about. Otherwise what are we doing here, know what I mean?
David: The Duke of Everything
May 26, 2022 @ 3:07 pm
You can talk up Zach all you want. I never made any mention that you couldn’t or shouldn’t. I just don’t know why you responded to me when I didn’t respond to you.
May 26, 2022 @ 2:56 pm
I’m not going to go into a Zach Bryan article and talk about the weather or ants. I’m here to discuss American Heartbreak and Zach. Seems fair to me. There shouldn’t be an issue with that. That seems more than fair.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 26, 2022 @ 4:36 pm
I will say that Zach is very up-front about the fact that he isn’t “Country” (Moreland does the same thing).
It’s why I always laughed at the Childers comparisons. Tyler is a hardcore country guy.
Zach doesn’t write like him, doesn’t sing like him, and *certainly* doesn’t play like him.
It’s boyish…but unabashed Sad Bastard stuff.
May 26, 2022 @ 4:59 pm
I kind of like that he’s not overtly. I think he clearly has some crossover though, as he’s touring with Luke Combs and CoJo. Some steel and fiddle on this album. And instagram abound searching #zachbryan you are going to see wall to wall photos of gals and guys in cowboy hats and boots talking about his live shows. I agree though that he harkens back to a more traditional guy with acoustic guitar/folky type vibe. And clearly he’s a fan of Bruce/Petty and those guys. I also hear shades of Ed Sheeran, you cant get bigger than someone like that. Whatever it is, its clearly working for the dude. I’m seeing similar posts to mine on socials about listening to this album exclusively nonstop for the last week, thats not normal for me, nor is it normal in this streaming age where we can flip and flit between so much other music. For me personally, its been years since Ive connected with an album to this degree. I’ve listened to it 2-3 times today.
Wilson Pick It
May 26, 2022 @ 11:50 am
It’s definitely better than bro country. I’ll take it.
May 26, 2022 @ 12:22 pm
“I’ll whisper you these sonnets til Im blue” is a ridiculously good line.
May 26, 2022 @ 12:37 pm
Has anyone here seen Zach on his current tour? Seems like it would be fun experience and the fanbase, evidently not folks here, are in heaven at the shows. Id love it. And sharing the bill with CoJo and Luke Combs. Dude has it made. Thats a fun night.
May 26, 2022 @ 4:10 pm
I’m definitely interested to see how the streaming holds up down the line compared to Morgan & Luke’s albums… Since I don’t see his first two albums anywhere on charts. Most people I’ve talked to have about 5 songs they love on this whole thing. A lot of them blended together for me, but I do appreciate his seeming sincerity.
May 27, 2022 @ 12:31 am
I remember when 67k sold wouldn’t even get you in the top 200 o Billboard. How times have changed.
Oh, and Morgan Wallen (just to make Trig’s swelled head explode).
May 27, 2022 @ 12:35 pm
Whats everyone’s favorite song, moment, part on this album? Its been out a week now. The success of it is unbelievable. Id say he’s one of the artists of the year.