Jake Owen - 'Days Of Gold'

“I want people to feel more than they did with my past albums, and I think they will, 'Days of Gold' is going to be a step forward.” Jake Owen

Days Of Gold is the fourth studio album from American country artist Jake Owen. It was released on 3rd December in the US and in the UK the album is currently only available digitally (hard copies will be available from 16th December). The title track was released as the lead single from the album in August. Days Of Gold, in my opinion, is a very brave track to be released as the lead single (the track also opens the album) and admittedly I don't find myself loving it. It feels too rocky and heavy on the instrumentalisation to suit Jake's voice. Unfortunately Tall Glass Of Something also passed me by. It has that similar party idea to other tracks on Days Of Gold but I don't feel it really stands out from the others. Jake is a really strong story-teller and a song like this is completely the opposite and doesn't stick in your mind.

There are however various tracks throughout the album I find myself continuously drawn to. Beachin' is one of them. The Caribbean feel to the instrumentalisation and the lyrics works really well and the finger clicking and guitar accompaniment in the verses suits the overall atmosphere of the track. The track also conjures up great imagery with "a little palm tree leaning" and a reggae band playing "a little Don't Worry Be Happy". I'd definitely recommend listening closely to the lyrics and not just discounting the track if you don't like the instrumentalisation. 

Beachin' is followed by rockier track 1972. The instrumentalisation is straight in with a rockier electric guitar and drum beat. This punchy accompaniment gives the track a good pace and the overall production gives a great 'good times' feel. As a big fan of Jake's slower, more stripped back tracks I was surprised that I liked 1972 but I have already had it on repeat multiple times. Another track that is definitely worth listening to is Ghost Town. I think fans of Jake's previous album will really like this track, it is similar sound to what came out of that. 

Perhaps the best track on the album is the sombre What We Ain't Got. With just a piano and pedal steel guitar accompaniment it is almost the most vocally telling track, with no excess instrumentalisation to hide behind. Jake proves his vocal skills in this track and delivers an emotive performance from the first word to the softly spoken "Got" at the end. The track leaves me with goosebumps and I really hope it is released as a single as I'd love to see it chart well for Jake.

Track listing....
1) Days Of Gold - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason
2) Beachin' - Jaren Johnston, Jon Nite, Jimmy Robbins
3) 1972 - Jaren Johnston, Jim Beavers
4) Ghost Town - Chris De Stefano, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally
5) Life Of The Party - Dallas Davidson, Chris De Stefano, Ashley Gorley
6) Good Timing - Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley, Zach Crowell
7) Tall Glass Of Something - Jaren Johnston, Luke Laird, Barry Dean
8) One Little Kiss (Never Killed Nobody) - Ashley Gorley, Jimmy Robbins, Shane McAnally
9) What We Ain't Got - Travis Jerome Goff, Travis Meadows
10) Tipsy - Matt Jenkins, Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen
11) Drivin' All Night - Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell
12) Sure Feels Right - Jaren Johnston, Zac Maloy, Jeremy Stover

I have wanted to see Jake live for quite a while now and I can imagine that the majority of these songs are amazing to hear live, hopefully he'll come to the UK soon!

I was originally a little apprehensive about this album after hearing the title track but having been able to listen to it all the way through I am very impressed and would definitely recommend purchasing Days Of Gold. In my opinion Jake is one of the most undervalued male vocalists in country music and I hope this album continues the success that Barefoot Blue Jean Night started (you can read my review of that album here). The rockier side of the album mostly works really well but I hope he continues to include softer tracks on his albums, something that he has done well on Days Of Gold.