February 18th, 2014 3:06am

That Whole House Is Gonna Be Shaking

Eric Church “Like A Wrecking Ball”

There’s something very odd about the production on Eric Church’s new album: It’s very clean and professional, but some parts seem slightly off, so perfectly normal things will seem a bit uncanny. It’s exactly the right way to present Church – his whole deal as a country musician is basically being a mainstream country guy who’s just a bit different from the rest. Iconoclastic, but only up to a point. The funny thing about The Outsiders is that part of what Church does to stand out from the pack is occasionally dip into heavy, grungy rock, and he’s basically in the one part of pop culture where that actually would seem like a progressive move to people. But I think he’s better on a song like “Like A Wrecking Ball,” where he’s just doing a low key romantic tune and coming off as totally sincere and unpretentious. The odd bit in this song is the somewhat excessive reverb on his voice – the rest of the album isn’t like that, so it’s clearly an intentional move. But it works, and adds a touch of something a little unexpected to an otherwise very straight forward tune.

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