Bound for Glory is an undeniably Southern-sounding record, laying tracks across dusty plain romances (Pyre in the Blood), swampy pop ballads (Hall of Mirrors), honky-tonk dance floor favorites (Hoorah at the Hi De Ho) and Midwestern fist-pumping rock anthems (Give Me Liberty), all precisely executed with a charming ease and authenticity.
The best moments, though, are the ones that blur those lines, as GCR does in the vivid, swelling Im Alive, a triumphant rally cry shouted with the sort of grandiose, theatrical energy youd likely associate more with the likes of Arcade Fire. Original Sin/The Truth operates in a similar mode, reading like the Sooner State response to Reflektor.
Hard Timin Monopolizin Blues is another standout, steering its way out of Youth & Young Manhood-era Kings of Leon before veering even deeper into the backwoods, opening up into a near-Jack-White-worthy guitar bridge.
From first note to last, Bound for Glory fulfills the promise of the title its a consistently invigorating journey through the history of Southern music and back again.
Bound for Glory is available now on iTunes. Joshua Boydston