Big & Rich burst onto the Country music scene in 2004 with their triple platinum debut album Horse of a Different Color. With hits such as Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) and Holy Water under their belts, the duo became huge very quickly. Their subsequent albums struggled to match the commercial success of their debut but Big & Rich still proved to be formidable on the singles charts. Recently they released their sixth album Did It For the Party, the follow up to 2014’s Gravity.
Did It For the Party is an album that is really designed for the duo’s fanbase. If you’ve never liked the duo before, this album isn’t going to change your mind. Big & Rich do what they do very well but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Did It For the Party is a mostly uptempo affair and it kicks off strong with California, a song that John Rich co-wrote and was recorded by Tim McGraw for his Damn Country Music album.
After that point Did It For the Party is a mixed bag. At times it sounds a little immature and it veers too close to the bro-country sound that I thought had packed its bags and left the genre. There isn’t a great deal of depth to the collection with the duo choosing to sing about partying more than anything else. Funk in the Country actually made me wince a few times as did the poorly named We Came to Rawk.
There are some good moments on the record. The stripped-back My Son featuring The Isaacs doesn’t work with the majority of the track list but it’s head and shoulders above everything else on here. It’s one of the few moments that Big & Rich put a bit of passion into their songs and it’s a million miles away from the clichéd party songs that make up most of the record. The duo allow their vocals to shine on Freedom Road and their harmonies are really strong.
Did It For the Party isn’t a great album. It’s a little bit like that embarrassing uncle you hope stays away from the beer at Christmas and the production is so polished that it gets very samey very quickly. At a time when Country music is making strides to get back to the storytelling heart of the genre, Big & Rich stick out like a sore thumb.
Track listing: 1. California 2. Did It For the Party 3. Congratulations (You’re a Rockstar) 4. Turns Me On 5. Wake Up Wanting You 6. Smoke in Her Eyes 7. No Sleep 8. We Came to Rawk 9. Funk in the Country 10. The Long Way Home 11. Freedom Road 12. My Son 13. Lie, Cheat or Steal Record label: Big & Rich Records / Thirty Tigers Release date: 15th September 2017