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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Zach Bryan releases new album, breaks records

Zach Bryans new album released on August 25th, 11:00 p.m. CT. The album consisted of 16 songs. The top 10 songs on Apple Music were all from the album only a week after the album dropped.
Riley McConnell
Zach Bryan’s new album released on August 25th, 11:00 p.m. CT. The album consisted of 16 songs. The top 10 songs on Apple Music were all from the album only a week after the album dropped.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Posted right as the album was released, at 11:00 a.m. CT, Zach Bryan posted on social media, with a caption talking about the journey of the songs. The tug on reality when he said, “I didn’t make this album to appease people who will never be happy anyways, I made it for my people…”, was praised by many fans.

 

Track 1 “Fear and Friday’s (Poem)”

10/10

This heart-throb of a poem has remained “unreleased” on social media platforms, memorized by many Zach Bryan fans. Being one of these fans, I was already pretty used to this song. Like the rest of his songs, it is a window into his thoughts while simultaneously being relatable for the majority of his listeners. 

“And excess never leads to better things / it only piles and piles atop the things that are already abundantly in front of you”

 

Track 2 “Overtime”

7/10

Jump-started with a rock-stylized intro followed by a quick transition, this song quickly proves that it would be the perfect song to listen to while driving with the windows down. Although the lyrics are quite sorrowful and deep, I feel like the realness will be loved by the fans and listeners.

“Cause I’ll be working overtime / They told me that I couldn’t, and I shouldn’t even try”

 

Track 3 “Summertime’s Close”

5/10

Reminiscing on a past relationship, Zach is clearly still mourning someone who is no longer in his life — something we can all relate to, although maybe not to the extent he is living through. With a shorter run time of only 3:06, the country artist is able to capture so many strong emotions. Similar to a lot of his songs, Zach is singing more about losing than loving. Although a very sweet song, it is definitely not my favorite from this album but is most definitely never going to be a skip.

“Cause you’re the fire of Carolina and Oklahoma too / The stars in San Luis ain’t burnin’ bright as you”

 

Track 4 “East Side of Sorrow”

8/10

The slow pick of the guitars gradually transitions us into this next song, discussing the same relationship as before. It depicts the bliss of grief, showing that although he will never give up his love for this person, he has faith that it will all be alright because “the sun’s gonna rise tomorrow.” The horns were an amazing choice and addition to the song, giving a very uplifting type feel, showing Zach’s healing.

“Let it be, then let it go”

 

Track 5 “Hey Driver (feat. The War and Treaty)”

7/10

A clear, immediate favorite across all social media platforms, this collaboration with the War and Treaty was an instant hit for many, myself included. The raspy voices of both artists blend together perfectly — as do the harmonies. The repetitions in the chorus make it an easy song to sing along to and a perfect song for all of us who end up getting assigned to aux.

“All the love I’ve had worth givin’ was spent on my songs”

 

Track 6 “Fear and Friday’s”

7/10

Immediately, I can tell that this song will be revolutionary and outstanding when performed live. Quickly escalating as he tells the story, Zach wrote another perfect song to dance and sing along to. 

“You only love me like you mean it when it’s after dark”

 

Track 7 “Ticking”

8/10

Encapsulating the sincere feelings that he has for the person he’s singing about, Zach mourns them, discussing how upset he is over not being with them still. The line “I’m cutting ties with things that bind my heart to this world” is repeated throughout the song, emphasizing Zach’s need to get away, but still wanting to be near to the person(s) he loves. The slow rhythm of the guitar and other instruments blend well together, making it one of my favorites on the album.

“I’m cuttin ties with things that bind my heart to this world / I love you and I’m willing, but I cannot keep you girl”

 

Track 8 “Holy Roller (feat. Sierra Ferrell)”

7/10

Similar to “Hey Driver,” I’ve noticed that social media has taken a strong liking to this song. This song gives me a very nostalgic feel, similar to the rest of his discography, specifically this album, but this one stood out as so. The harmonies when Sierra joins are amazing, and I honestly think without it, the song would feel unfinished. The collaboration between the two artists was executed perfectly.

“But I found God in your eyes / the greens and browns remind me of a mountainside”

 

Track 9 “Jake’s Piano- Long Island”

#/10

The gut-wrenching words “the best parts of you are here, but you’re still gone”, discussing the remnants of someone being in your life, but leaving it, is something I think most can relate to. Stylized to be kind of like a letter to someone who used to be in his life. The piano slowly brings the listener along on the ‘grief journey’ that the song seems to be structured into, as drums and guitar are added, escalating as he describes his pain after losing this person. Like many, Zach is suffering with not being able to talk to them about all the normal things, or hear about major points in each other’s lives.

“My mind ain’t well and I just can’t tell you why”

 

Track 10 “El Dorado”

9/10

Reflecting on a clearly top-tier friendship with someone in his teen years, Zach wrote an upbeat, folk-ish type song, that is probably my favorite on the album, a week after listening to the songs. I feel like it’s a song I can listen to all the time and know it will put me in a good mood, despite the unfortunate circumstances he is singing about. The riffs that Zach incorporates is one aspect that brings the song together. The closeness of the relationship he is reminiscing is something that has happened to me multiple times, but is clear that the distance between them is what caused them to drift.

“17 years old / how our grins look so scary brave”

 

Track 11 “I Remember Everything (feat. Kacey Musgraves)”

6/10

When I first listened to this song, I felt that the addition of Kacey took away from the song, but after soaking it all in, it’s clear that their voices work well together. Adding two different perspectives, allows the listener to see the tension on both sides, and the sadness that follows. I feel that not a lot of well-written songs have this format, but it was produced very well, executing a vision that they so clearly had. 

“I wish I didn’t, but I do / Remember every moment on the nights with you”

 

Track 12 “Tourniquet”

7/10

The piano in the beginning felt kind of cheesy, but the lyrics quickly encapsulate the listener as the song begins to pick up. Expressing the extents he would go to in order to help this person, Zach pours his heart out, writing outstanding lines. His pure intentions of giving them his all, shows the love he has for them, even if they don’t want to accept it. We all have someone like this in our life, and as someone who treats people the same way, I find it hard to give up on people, something that Zach obviously feels the same about.

“When you finally feel the blood you spill into everybody else / I’ll tourniquet your toes to the ground”

 

Track 13 “Spotless (feat. The Lumineers)”

8/10

The collaboration with The Lumineers was enough to pull me into this song, one I had been anticipating since the social media announcement. Knowing how most songs go for these artists, I knew to expect a gut-wrenching, heart-tugging, heartbreak-worthy song, and that is exactly what they gifted to us. I may be biased because of my love for the band, but this song was instantly added to my playlists, the collaboration being perfect in my eyes. 

“Your heart knows deeper seasons than my eyes ever will”

 

Track 14 “Tradesman”

5/10

The anthem, led by the progression of drums in the background, seems like a ‘background song’. It isn’t very crazy, but it has a good flow to it, making it a good road trip song to just sit and listen to. I feel like it will have a very niche fanbase, though I can appreciate it and the work put into it. 

“The only callous I’ve grown is in my mind”

 

Track 15 “Smaller Acts”

9/10

In all honesty, I did tear up a little when first listening to this song. It feels so personal, while being written about someone who I’ll never meet- a key part that makes a song amazing. The upbeat strum of the guitar and the genuine sound in his voice encapsulate so much emotion that is noted without having to specifically say it. The song is assisted by soft, small frog noises, giving the feeling of hearing this song in front of a fire, late at night, continuing that nostalgic feel that Zach is always able to grasp.

“There ain’t a thing a man can do / She’ll only love you for you”

 

Track 16 “Oklahoman Son”

6/10

Something I love about Zach and his artistry is that his songs always feel casual, yet put together, something displayed in this sweet song. Reflecting on a bad version of himself for the past, he sings about his pain and regrets. This is another song that I can imagine being perfect when performed live, leaving the audience speechless. 

“How’d you fall for a man I’ve grown to hate?”

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About the Contributor
Riley McConnell, Chief Operating Officer
Riley McConnell is a senior at Prosper High School and is the Chief Operating Officer, formally Sports Editor for Eagle Nation Online. This is her third year on staff and is involved in the Football Operations Department, an organization she is happily a founding member of. She is also the head photographer for the school's baseball team, alongside pursuing her personal photography career.
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