Album Review

Sawyer Brown – Desperado Troubadours

The album may, at times, come off as antiquated, but Desperado Troubadours – just like Sawyer Brown themselves – is far from obsolete.

Album - Sawyer Brown - Desperado Troubadours
March 7, 2024 4:20 pm GMT

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Sawyer Brown - Desperado Troubadours

Label: Curb Records

Producer: Blake Shelton & Mark Miller

Release Date: March 8, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. Under This Ole Hat

2. Nashville Cat

3. I Wouldn't Change A Thing

4. Socrates

5. The One I've Got

6. God Bless This Road

7. Good Night and Good Morning

8. This Side Of The Sky

9. Get Me To The Stage On Time

10. Desperado Troubadours

I wouldn’t change a thing,” vocalist Mark Miller sings against a glossy wave of shimmering strings and subtle beats. The song of the same name is about the long, arduous journey to where Sawyer Brown are now and adequately sums up the band’s latest oeuvre, Desperado Troubadours.

For four decades, the members of Sawyer Brown have been country music stalwarts, even when the critics wouldn’t have them and Nashville was weary of their animated bubblegum sound. In the 1980s, they embodied pop-country before country went pop, proving themselves to Music City for years before eventually emerging as one of its staple acts. With their first collection of new music in over ten years, Sawyer Brown is retracing their steps and rehashing their early sound, revealing to listeners where they’ve been in order to show the band they’ve become.

Listening to Desperado Troubadours is like cracking open a forty-year-old time capsule in that, when excavating the album, you’ll find ten tracks that feel dated. The rollicking opening number, ‘Under This Old Hat,’ cheesy ballad ‘The One I’ve Got’ and the effervescent ‘God Bless This Road,’ possess a jukebox sheen reflecting back images of mullets, shoulder pads and pressed Wranglers.

However, underneath the veil of time and trends, you’ll also discover a few treasured gems.   Pleasant nostalgia filters through the entire album, and the passion that once set the band apart on the Nashville stage is still very much palpable. The ripping two-step ‘Nashville Cat,’ strutting anthem ‘Good Night and Good Morning’ and the rambling opus ‘Get Me To The Stage’ are all evidence of the band’s staying power. Their closing farewell-for-now tune, ‘Desperado Troubadours,’ only further cements their decades of unmatched artistry.

The album may, at times, come off as antiquated, but Desperado Troubadours – just like Sawyer Brown themselves – is far from obsolete. While their sound has aged, it’s aged well, each track reminiscent of what made the band such notable hitmakers in the first place.

7/10

Sawyer Brown’s 2024 project, Desperado Troubadours, is available March 8 via Curb Records.

Written by Alli Patton
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