Arts

New album proves there's more than one side to Zac

Fergal Hallahan

The Zac Brown Band's new album is called Jekyll + Hyde
John Kearns

THE Zac Brown Band have triumphed yet again with another powerful and melodic record. The latest album Jekyll + Hyde, finds Zac and his gang in fine form and fulfilling that difficult remit of getting better with age. Some bands can lose their mojo after a few successful albums as the schedule gets busier and the song well dries up; some acts find it hard to go beyond the debut record as those songs were the hungry, pre-famous compositions. But not these guys.

The record sales have rocketed, the profile has risen dramatically and the live audiences have multiplied significantly – and rightly so. With regard to the live audiences, it's not that long ago that Zac Brown actually used to put on a barbecue for his audience – he would actually cook for them and then perform.

Understandably, that particularly generous display of hospitality has since ceased. Playing live to 15,000 people a night these days? That's a lot of burgers and beer.

With Jekyll and Hyde, Zac has kept his trademark modern country feel but has also dabbled in a diversity of styles. Mango Tree featuring Sarah Bareilles is Swing with a twist while on the song Heavy Is The Head the band get together with Chris Cornell and belt out a nasty rock romp which really is a stand out moment on the album.

If you haven't yet discovered the delights of the Zac Brown Band... I have a feeling you soon will.

READY 4 SUCCESS

JASON Derulo's new album Everything Is 4 will no doubt add to his already hugely impressive sales. Figures published this week show that Derulo's total record sales have reached almost 50 million – and that is for an artist who has only been releasing music commercially for five years.

JD's new single Want You To Want Me is a Prince-tinged pop R 'n B tune that is being regularly played on heavy rotation on most hit radio stations and while his other songs have always found their commercial target, there is a buzz about this track that suggests he is really coming into his own – reaching that point when an artist goes from 'big' to massive.

Derulo has also just signed a deal which will see him achieve mainstream television fame in the US when he takes his place alongside Paula Abdul as a judge on the Fox network's So You Think You Can Dance.

TWEET REVENGE

JAY Z has taken to Twitter this week to defend his controversial new streaming service Tidal. The star pointed out that his new business has only been live for a month and already there are 770,000 subscribers jumping on board. He also reminded detractors that iTunes took almost a decade to become properly effective and successful.

The rap mogul also addressed accusations that the founding members such as himself, his wife Beyonce, Madonna, Alicia Keys and Usher etc were simply attempting to get richer on the back of their service. He responded by revealing that all artists, not just the 'owners', who stream through Tidal received 75 per cent of the royalties and upcoming indie acts could receive 100 per cent.

He then supplied some interesting numbers regarding their 'competitors'. “Rich getting richer? Equity values... YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million.”

Jay Z concluded his cyber self-defence by stating: “We are here for the long haul, please give us the chance to grow and get better.”

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