Uncaged is Zac Brown Band’s third major-label studio album, released on July 10, 2012. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, giving them their second number one album and best sales week yet. Its member Zac Brown called it “Your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record,” I say it is an album about a beach, a relationship, and life, itself.
“It’s really about making people dance, you just don’t let them go. There’s a lot of songs on the record that when we play them live we’ll extend out long. But it’s really about just grabbing people in that pulse and then not letting them go that entire song,” Brown said. But for me, there is a deeper meaning to all of it. It’s about dancing to the sound of love, the only sound that can make you let go and be vulnerable. It’ll hook you. Their “basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam” sound may not make you feel it just like that, but listen to it very, very closely, and you’ll know.
Clay Cook, one of John Mayer’s (who is close to their sound, although less country and less reggae) collaborators said “This is first record that we’ve made from start to finish in one thought, the previous albums have been a collection of songs … this is an album.”
I have listened to some of their songs from the previous albums, and yes, they might look or give the impression that they’re writing songs like they are just fooling around with some friends, but I think they’re telling true and deep stories, disguised as jokes. No wonder why the album was well received upon its release and that they have won the Grammy’s Best New Artist before. Brown may not have the best voice, but he exudes musicality. To show off some vocal skill, listen to the last track of the album where Brown goes into the higher octave. It’s not his tessitura, but he sang it very well. I was amazed, actually. The featured artists are also not like the others which were dispensable. They actually added more flavor into it. They made this album more interesting; and that’s musically, not just because there other artists featured. I love this album, I almost loved every inch of it, although I’m not really into their genre. I was having an eargasm while I was listening to this as I was riding a bus on my way home yesterday. And by the way, Brown and I both look like Zach Galifianakis, with all these facial hair.
American Songwriter writes of the album, “Uncaged is an album that proves a successful country artist really can have it all — that it’s possible to tastefully blend the sensitive singer/songwriter tropes of Laurel Canyon artists like James Taylor, the faux Caribbean pandering of Jimmy Buffett, the deeply felt roots excursions of the Avett Brothers, and the smartly crafted pop concessions of Jason Mraz.”