Eric Church – “Chief”…album review!

Posted: 16th September 2011 by refrainmusic in Albums

Eric Church - Chief

This album is what I like to refer to as ‘blue collar’ and based on the songs and the lyrics I really don’t think Eric Church would take issue with that.  Back with his third album titled “Chief” (named after his grandfather) he is singing about down home relatable topics, combined with strong lyrics, and some cool arrangements and musicality.  This album presents Church in a more radio-friendly way than his previous two albums which is already proving true with it climbing country album charts everywhere and single “Drink In My Hand”, a fun and familiar story, currently sitting at #26 on the Billboard country charts.  It also debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart without a hit single preceding it, which is a testament to Church’s growing fan base, his fun relatable songs, and his hard working attitude that appeals to country fans.

I have to speak to the musicality of the album that has some deft acoustic guitars on songs like “Jack Daniels”, some fun raunchy and rock-ish guitar playing on songs like “Creepin'” and “Keep On”, and there are even references to the ‘guitar sound’ in songs like “Springsteen”.    Speaking of ‘Springsteen’ it refers to the nostalgia of a song that can pull us back to that ‘July Saturday night’, and that teenage sweetheart.

Eric Church

One thing that is improving, or should I say getting stronger are Church’s lyrics in my opinion, with lines like on “Hung Over and Hard Up” that leap out at you like “the bottle in my hand is loaded and I ain’t afraid to use it tonight”.   One song that confused me was “Homeboy”, while I like the song it almost seemed like he was replacing one stereotype, the hip-hop loving lifestyle of crooked hats and ‘pants on the ground’ with the stereotype of the down home country boy who sits with his girl and case of beer in his pick-up truck by the lake.  While I get what he was going for here, his attempt to show that the outside world might not always be so glamorous and might get you in trouble and maybe you should get back in touch with where you come from it might appear contrived and stand offish if people don’t look deeper and realize he’s really saying come ‘home….boy’, before it’s too late.  Another song on the album I really like is “Over When It’s Over”, with great lyrics this duet with already accomplished singer songwriter Joanna Cotten (who should be more well known) is a pleasant surprise at the end of the album.  Cotten’s wonderful tone to her voice compliments Church’s more gruff sound, would love to hear more of her out there.

Overall this is a solid album from Church that gives us some fun songs, some decent ballads, and some lyrics to think about, and really isn’t that what a country album should be?  Definitely an album that will translate well to the live performance, the strong songs on the album for me are “Creepin’, Drink In My Hand, Springsteen, and Over When It’s Over” with an honorable mention for “Hung Over & Hard Up”.  This is going to, I feel, bring Erich Church’s road more out of the back country roads and more on to the main roads of country stardom.

‘Chief’ Track List:

1. ‘Creepin’ (Eric Church, Marv Green)
2. ‘Drink In My Hand’ (Eric Church, Michael P. Heeney, Luke Laird)
3. ‘Keep On’ (Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell)
4. ‘Like Jesus Does’ (Casey Beathard ,Monty Criswell)
5. ‘Hungover & Hard Up’ (Eric Church, Luke Laird)
6. ‘Homeboy’ (Eric Church, Casey Beathard)
7. ‘Country Music Jesus’ (Eric Church, Jeremy Spillman)
8. ‘Jack Daniels’ (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Lynn Hutton)
9. ‘Springsteen’ (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell)
10. ‘I’m Gettin’ Stoned’ (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Casey Beathard, Jeremy Cradey)
11. ‘Over When It’s Over’ (Eric Church, Luke Laird)


  1. Hollis says:

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbled upon it 😉 I have book marked it and I am going to return once again soon.

  2. I stole this CD from a friends truck. I wanted to steal the truck, but I’ll settle for this CD. Not bad, Eric – not bad. Over When It’s Over – pretty catchy.

  3. Anonymous J says:

    Good review…this is a good album with some fun songs!