Country musician Eric Church has released his fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood, via EMI Records Nashville. It was recorded at St. Charles Studios in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Jay Joyce.
The 10 song LP spans a relatively short 38 minutes and features guest appearances from Susan Tedeschi on "Mixed Drinks about Feelings," Joanna Cotten on "Chattanooga Lucy," and Andrea Davidson with Rhiannon Giddens on "Kill A Word."
Church taps into a wide range of styles on Mr. Misunderstood, from modern country twang to rock, pop, folk, blues, and soul. Anyone who loves music should be able to appreciate his ode to everything from "daddy's vinyl, old-time rock and roll, Elvis Costello, Ray Wylie Hubbard, [...and] Jeff Tweedy" to "back porch pickers, Jackson Pollock, and gin" on the opening title track, "Mr. Misunderstood." At the end of the day, the album is autobiographical and it works.
The biggest problems with this album are that the modern country twang might get too abrasive at times and the sad songs slow things down to a crawl. The production is a little rough around the edges, but in spite of the flaws Church keeps things interesting as one of the most unpredictable guys in country music from album to album, song to song, and even verse to verse. His wild nature and playfulness are what make him great, as well as the excellent band behind him.
He released this album in a surprise email to his fan club, The Church Choir in Nocember. Church broke through with Chief in 2011, and he's shown he's not afraid to continue pushing himself creatively on The Outsiders in 2014 and now Mr. Misunderstood in 2015.
Songs we recommend include "Mr. Misunderstood," "Mistress Named Music," "Chattanooga Lucy," "Knives Of New Orleans," "Kill A Word," "Holdin' My Own," and "Three Year Old."
Pick up Mr. Misunderstood on Amazon. You can also stream the full album above, via Spotify.
For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Eric Church, check out his Zumic artist page.