Published On: Tue, Mar 7th, 2017

Eric Church – Mr Misunderstood Reviewed

One of the biggest records of recent years, Mr Misunderstood by Eric Church, gets a timely re-release with some tasty live treats

Genre-defying Eric Church unexpectedly first put this album out in 2015, and with no promotion or announcement, yet it still hit the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200. Produced by the ubiquitous Jay Joyce, the album refused to be pinned down to any comfortable tag, has gone on to mop up the accolades and awards – most notably Album Of The Year at last year’s Country Music Awards – and is now being re-released to coincide with his headline appearance at C2C.

So you get all the 10 existing songs that North Carolina-native Church wrote himself, mostly with collaborators – plus three live bonus tracks.

The title track is very Bob Seger – in his Hollywood Nights period – with acoustic and steel guitar and a false fadeout that comes back with a bang,  in Suspicious Minds-style. Round Here Buzz is more solidly country in scenario, arrangement and vocals.

Church’s touring partner, Joanna Cotton joins him on the funky, danceable Chattanooga Lucy, with her extraordinary, wailing vocals a real highlight. Bluesy singer Susan Tedeschi duets with him on classic ballad, Mixed Drinks About Feelings, with its delicate piano intro and word play, while on Kill A Word, Andrea Davidson and Rhiannon Giddens help him sing about negativity with real venom.

The bonus tracks were recorded live in front of his ‘Church Choir’ of fans at Red Rocks, Colorado. Two of them (Chattanooga Lucy and Knives Of New Orleans – his nod to Springsteen) are versions of this album’s tracks, while the third’s a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, with similarly stripped back arrangement, but crunchy, buzzing guitar in typical Church style. The bonus tracks are solid additions, but if you own the original, they don’t warrant another purchase. If not, this is the perfect reason to join the congregation.

Read our interview with Eric Church here



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