Over the past couple of years, country music has been rapidly changing from traditional country to this new pop-style “bro-country.” Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Sam Hunt are the ones headlining this move. However there’s one guy who is still kicking it old style while adding a southern rock twist to it, that being Brantley Gilbert.
Gilbert is still a fresh face in the country world but has had a successful career to this point. Gilbert’s most recent album “Just as I am” went platinum and his song “Bottoms up” spent a couple weeks on the billboard top 100. However this isn’t about Gilbert’s past success. It’s in fact about his album that was released a couple weeks ago. Since its release on January 27th 2017, “The Devil Don’t Sleep” became one of my favorites. His first single off of the album “The Weekend” currently sits at 69 on Billboards top 100. With that being said let’s hop into the album review.
Rockin’ Chairs: The first song on this album is a mix of both country and rock. It starts with the country vibe, then you get the rock type guitar during the chorus. In the song, Gilbert talks about making memories with who I would guess is his wife that they’ll talk about when they’re older sitting in their rocking chairs. It’s a bit of a cliché song talking about how quickly time will fly by. However, he spices it up and keeps it real throughout the song.
The Ones That Like Me: In this song, Gilbert seems to be addressing his doubters, and “haters” while also saying he keeps his friend group small. To me, this song represents how most of us should act in this world. He’s more or less saying you can hate me all you want, you can doubt me all you want, however, you won’t stop me. To start the chorus he says “The ones that need me got me” showing he’s got his friends backs while they have his. There’s a valuable life lesson in this song.
The Weekend: This is one of my favorite songs on this album. It’s got that feel the good country vibe, while again having that rock side to it. It’s just a down-home good time party song. Brantley Gilbert starts off talking about how his life seems like it’s just nine to five every day but guess what. It’s the weekend let’s party. This song is a must play for any “country boys” throwing their parties this summer.
You Could Be That Girl: Not exactly the song the title makes it out to be in my opinion. When I first saw the title I thought it would be a love song for his wife and how she could be the one. It’s still a love song of sorts however this song brings out the bad boy in Gilbert. The first lyrics are “I’m looking for a Bonnie. Looking for a P.I.C, a lil’ partner in crime come hell or high water.” It’s still a love song when you listen to the song but a little different than you’d expect.
Smokin’ Gun: Again another song a little different than I’d expect. To me it sounds as if he’s talking about a one-night stand type situation, however, I’m not entirely sure. This song is harder to analyze and really get into BG’s head. With Gilbert being married you have to wonder about this song. Is it about past experiences? If not, should he have been the one to record it?
Bro Code: One of the interesting songs on this album. This has a more upbeat pop-style beat while also having the heavy guitars of rock music. I was recently discussing this album with a friend of mine. He made his case how he thinks this song is a shot at the “bro-country” singers. After hearing this song a couple times I would have to agree that. He may be taking shots at the way country music is heading. I believe he cut this song to show that a “country boys lovin’” is the way to go.
It’s About To Get Dirty: For those of you that play Madden, you’ll find this song on the Madden Soundtrack however with some edits. It’s about to get dirty is all about going out mudding with friends, and having a party. Another down-home party songs that will be a must play for this summer’s parties. Overall this is right up there with my favorite song on this album. It could easily go number one on the country charts if Gilbert releases it. He sings about getting down and dirty in the country if you couldn’t have guessed that. This is easily a fun song that you could sing along to with a cold beer in your hand.
Tried To Tell Ya: Another song that’s harder to analyze, but becomes more clear the more you listen to it. It sounds to me as if he’s talking to a girl that’s falling in love with him. In the song, he’s trying to convince her he’s crazy for her. A very catchy song that has a strong rock vibe throughout it.
In My Head: A little more of a traditional love song in a way. Gilbert is talking about his previous night and how he keeps replaying it in his head, hence the title. It also sounds as if he’s falling for this girl while replaying everything that happened the previous night. Another song that could make a strong push for number one if Gilbert releases it to the radio.
Way Back: Another song about a girl imagine that. This song, however, is talking about how BG and this girl from his hometown have a history that goes “way back.” It sounds like he’s still in love with this girl and is trying to get back together with her. A song that may be for his wife. They had a bad break up at one point but got back together in the end. This song may show that struggle.
Baby Be Crazy: This song ties in with track 8 “I tried to Tell Ya”. It’s about being crazy about each other. However, this is more about the girl being crazy about Gilbert as opposed to him. “You have to be crazy to love me” is the first line of the chorus. To me, he’s saying he’s not perfect and crazy but if you are as well we can make it.
Outlaw In Me: Another song that brings out bad boy side in Brantley Gilbert but shows a soft side as well. He talks about all the scars, and tattoos he has and how no matter what his girl won’t try to change him. She’s in love with the bad boy side him. A more typical love song about how Gilbert’s glad his wife loves him for who he is.
Bullet In A Bonfire: This song reminds me of a song on Gilbert’s “Just as I am” album called “Read me my Rights”. Both of which are about domestic abuse. In both songs, it seems like he’s addressing a guy who keeps abusing a girl. In this song, though it seems to me like he’s warning the guy. He’s addressing the fact that he better watch out cause he won’t know when he’s gonna snap.
The Devil Don’t Sleep: The song is the title track of the album and is one of the better songs on the entire album. In interviews when asked about the song he Gilbert says it’s about battling his addiction. He recently did an interview with Christina Vinson of theboot.com. In it, he said even after being sober for over five years it still keeps him on his toes. He needs to keep moving forward to distance himself from the addiction. It takes a special person to make a song like this. I think Gilbert hit it perfectly on the head.
We’re Gonna Ride Again: This is my favorite song on this album because it feels to me to be a very heartfelt message. He talks about an old buddy of his he would ride with when he had free time. The chorus is what hits you when he asks how the old steel horse rides on the streets of gold. A song that makes you want to cry and rejoice all at the same time. Brantley Gilbert hit every emotion with this song. This is a song you sit there and listen to while thinking of the past, and sipping your beer.
Three Feet Of Water: The last song on the regular album (yes there’s a deluxe version), and one of the better ones. In this song, BG talks about experiences at church, and how he believes Jesus died for us. I’m not here to preach at you with all that Gilbert puts it in a way that makes you want to listen to this song over and over again. It sounds also like he’s trying to rid himself of all his sins from the past and move on with a baptism. Another great song on a great album by the country star.
Brantley Gilbert’s made one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while with“The Devil Don’t Sleep”. There are multiple songs that could go number one if he chooses to release them. If I had to give this album a rating on a scale from 1-10, I’d have to give it around an 8 maybe an 8.5. A very solid album with a ton of potential.