If there’s one thing that Brothers Osborne like to do with their fans, it’s to keep them guessing as to what’s next. With the success of last year’s single, “It Ain’t My Fault,” the brothers pushed in that hard stomping, rock direction even further with lead single from Port St. Joe, “Shoot Me Straight.”
With their new album, they prove that they’re far from one-trick ponies. It’s a collection of guitar-driven, melodically-pleasing music that’s been missing from mainstream country music as of late. While it is fitting that this album is released on April 20 – given how many times the album references weed – it’s even more fitting it was released in the spring, with its easygoing spirit that helps it go down smooth.
“Slow Your Roll”’s laid-back attitude kicks the album off – it’s a smooth track about taking things easy and not sweating the small stuff, with a funny one-liner from TJ telling us to “calm our country asses down.” (If that’s not a good motto for life, I don’t know what is.)
It bleeds nicely into “Shoot Me Straight,” which remains a highlight with its infectious southern-rock boogie and several smoldering solos. The single’s lively sentiment is also captured on “Drank Like Hank,” which feels like the perfect modern country-rock track.
Rough-edged isn’t the only side the duo showcases, however. Songs like “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” and “Pushin’ Up Daisies (Love Alive)” show their romantic side with smooth, crisp melodies, warm textures, and heartfelt lyrics. Of course, the brothers let their playful side dominate most of the tracks, with the swaying “Tequila Again” and “A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Alright” providing plenty of laughs. On the other hand, while listeners might expect the same of “Weed, Whiskey, and Willie” – which of course clocks in at four minutes and twenty seconds – it’s actually a serious song that speaks to what keeps us going. Even if getting high with Willie Nelson isn’t your thing, surely the concept of needing music itself to survive will resonate with a wider audience.
Lighthearted tracks aside, it’s hard to top the Brothers Osborne when they choose to dig deep for a song. “While You Still Can” is a heck of an album closer, with its talk of making amends, letting go of grudges, and maximizing life’s best moments. Time is precious, and in an age where things are more polarizing than ever, the brothers provide a unifying closing track.
With Port Saint Joe, Brothers Osborne have provided fans with music that’s different from their debut, Pawn Shop. There’s a lighter feel to this album, and it’s clear that since their debut they’ve found sturdier footing as artists, showcasing their talent and identity in a mere ten tracks. It’s a great record for the spring, but come summertime, it will be hard to beat this album as an excellent beach soundtrack.