Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Album Review: Pawn Shop by Brothers Osborne

Listening to the Brothers Osborne you can easily be reminded why bands like 38 Special had hit songs. There is something about the blend of southern rock, country, and pop that just works when it's done right.

This is the debut album of the Brothers Osborne and they certainly show that they have a knack for this kind of music, but this album falls prey to what gets so many country albums, over production.

I'm not just talking about musical over production, but even the song choices feel a bit forced. It's hard for me to understand song credits, but it would appear to me that most the songs had a Nashville lyricist with John Osborne writing the music or arranging. If I'm reading this correctly it says a few things. One that John has a real talent as these songs are arranged perfectly for TJ's voice. But it also means that many of the songs were being directed to them and it's hard to know in the Nashville world how much was their own doing and their labels doing. A song like "21 Summer" feels very natural and genuine. Most the other songs on the album feel very cliched.

This doesn't mean it's a bad album it just means that the album to me feels very fake. I think there is a connection between "21 Summer" working so well and the fact that John get's the lead writing credits for the song. Of course I could be completely wrong and this album is just who these guys are, but there is a reason, I feel, why one song stands out so strongly to me above the others.

Still if you're in the mood for some southern rock give this album a listen. Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 2 out of 5 stars for Not Bad.


  1. You know, if not for the lyrics, I could be a pretty big fan of FM overproduced C&W.

  2. I know what you mean. This album to me just had too many of these songs. "Pawn Shop" the title song is a great example. Sounds like the opening song to a TV show about a pawn shop. Not very interesting. In fact in that song TJ is doing an accent. Feels so corny.