My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Zac Brown Band – ‘Colder Weather’

In many ways, the Zac Brown Band reminds me of the sort of act that could frequently be heard on Top 40 AM radio stations in the 1970s when artists such as Mac Davis, Ronnie Milsap, Anne Murray, and Crystal Gayle were fixtures at the top of both the country and pop charts. Though the boys from Georgia are more firmly rooted in country music than their 1970s counterparts, it’s not difficult to imagine them achieving the same kind of crossover success with many of their records. Their current release, “Colder Weather” is prime example. Reminiscent of Dave Loggins’ 1974 hit “Please Come To Boston,” it tells the tale of a man with wanderlust, who in the song’s first verse, is heading back out on the road, leaving behind the woman who loves him. As he bids her farewell, she says to him:

“… you’re a rambling man
And you ain’t ever gonna change,
You got a gypsy’s soul to blame
And you were born for leavin’.”

By the second verse, however, the song moves in a different direction. Unlike Loggins’ song where the main character keeps moving from place to place, “Colder Weather’s” protagonist pulls into a truck stop diner and starts having second thoughts about having left his lover behind. He returns to her but it isn’t long before the urge to roam overtakes him again. By the end of the song there isn’t any resolution; the listener is left with the impression that the character is perpetually conflicted about whether to stay or to go, and that the relationship never really moves forward.

I’ve frequently been critical of artists who stray too far from their country roots in pursuit of pop stardom, but “Colder Weather” is a good example of a well-crafted country-pop record. It opens with a gentle piano solo, with some subtle fiddle and steel entering into the mix during the second verse. The production soars just a bit before the bridge, with some percussion and electric guitars, which though prominent, are not ostentatious and overwhelming, in stark contrast to most contemporary country recordings. It’s not a traditional record, but Keith Stegall’s restrained production and the band’s harmonies help to create a fresh sound that should stand out amongst the slickness and blandness of almost everything else on the radio.

“Colder Weather” was written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey, and Coy Bowles. It can be heard here.

Grade: B+

7 responses to “Single Review: Zac Brown Band – ‘Colder Weather’

  1. bob December 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I have both ZBB albums and enjoy them both. As I read your review the old Glen Campbell song “Gentle on My Mind” written by John Hartford came to mind. Although I think that “Gentle …” is a much better song, “Colder Weather” is another solid effort by Zac & company.

  2. Ben Foster December 17, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Though I wasn’t really up for another song about a guy who’s “born for leavin'” and whatnot, I really like the arrangement on this track. Overalll I like it.

  3. Tom December 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    …i liked the review as much as the song – and i think it’s really a good tune.

  4. Occasional Hope December 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I like this one a lot.

  5. J.R. Journey December 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I think ‘Please Come To Boston’ is an excellent comparison to make to this single. It’s certainly a bit different from their past hits – and a welcome change of pace. I really like these guys, and am always looking forward to hearing what they do next.

  6. Leeann Ward December 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

    They’re one of my favorite mainstream acts right now. Good song.

  7. Pingback: Zac Brown Band "Colder Weather" | "Colder Weather" Lyrics | Zac Brown Band Videos | Dixie Streams Online Radio

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