Sound — 9
Eric's voice sound better than ever on this one. The instrumentation is the most impressive thing about this album. With strong guitar riffs and thumping bass, Eric captures the "outlaw" feel that he has always had to his music better than ever. He has a classic rock feel on many of the songs, and does not use the same sounds for every song, a la Luke Bryan. He himself described the opening track, "The Outsiders," as a mix between Waylon Jennings and Metallica. The musical style varies from classic country to hip-hop to blues to metal. Best instrumentation on any of his album thus far.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album are fairly good. The lyrics in "Give Me Back My Hometown" really blew me away. They are right up there with a number of Eric's other hits, such as "Carolina" and "Springsteen." The lyrics on "That Was a Cold One" are clever, but I find them cheesy. Eric really puts himself out there in the song "Devil, Devil," and the single from the album, "The Outsiders" is a true anthem. The lyrics on "The Only Joint" are weak to me, seeming as if he is simply trying to make a "stoner song." Overall, the lyrics are very good. One of the reason Eric speaks a lot on this album rather than sings is to put emphasis on the words that are behind his music.
Overall Impression — 8
This album is extremely strong. I would rank it tied for second on the list of Eric's albums, behind Carolina and tied with Chief. "Give Me Back My Hometown," in my opinion, is the best song Eric has ever released, just barely ahead of "Springsteen." "The Only Joint" is really the only song from the album I am not a big fan of. This album is filled with solid songs, and you will have it on repeat for quite some time. If this album was stolen, I would buy another copy, easily. Go pick this album up if you have not yet.