Rejoice BG Nation, Brantley Gilbert is back with his best album to date Fire and Brimstone. The album is the best that Gilbert has to offer and is the very reason why his fans love him.
The 15 track album begins with vintage Gilbert in “Fire’t Up” and “Not Like Us.” Both songs show the edge that Gilbert proudly wears; a bad boy image the fans eat up.
But what makes Brantley a three dimension artist is that he doesn’t rely on those party-raising Cain songs; in fact it’s the songs that show his softer side that tend to gain the most traction. This album arguably has more of those than any of his previous projects. Take the title track “Fire and Brimstone” which he receives an assist on with Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss. The song shares a sinners story back to faith. It’s haunting, honest, and ultimately uplifting.
Brantley shows how unafraid he is to sing about his faith and his family. “Man That Hung The Moon” is an open letter to his son, and his daughter due in November. Again, Brantley doesn’t shy away from his flaws as he sings about when his kids realize that their dad isn’t Superman, he hopes they know to turn to the man upstairs.
It’s been three years since we’ve gotten new BG music and if it’s up to him that’s how it should be. He considers each album a chapter in his life and to fill those pages up he has some living to do. If that’s how long it takes to give us songs like “Lost Soul’s Prayer” or “Man of Steel,” — two songs that speak of self reflection, asking for help, and becoming a better person for those around him — then wait three years we will.
While Gilbert does his music his way without worrying about the commercial success, he has so many songs on this album that can make some noise on the charts. Of course “What Happens in a Small Town” with Lindsey Ell, is already rocking the charts, but “Laid Back Ride” and “New Money” are good country songs that you want to turn up and ride around with the windows down. “Bad Boy” may be the sleeper track on the album, which focuses on the relationship with the woman who would eventually become his mother-in-law. You can’t say Gilbert isn’t a songwriter after listening to this song.
Just as easily as Gilbert lays down the honesty and vulnerability, he takes us back to his rocker roots with “Welcome to Hazeville.” We get a signature Colt Ford country rap choru and an added assist from Lukas Nelson, while Willie Nelson gets the very last line of the song.
From top to bottom this album exceeds expectations. It sounds like everything that fans of BG want, but more. We get the rock, bad-boy Gilbert who can light up a stage, but we also get the more profound, deeper than the surface Gilbert, who writes and sings songs that can bring you to your knees. Each style is equally good and entertaining and it is what makes Gilbert the successful artist he continues to be.