Free the Music

Free the Music

Heartland country crooner Jerrod Niemann may have grown up on a steady diet of Lefty Frizzell and George Strait, but he shows off a pretty wide spectrum of influence on his fourth studio album, Free the Music. The title track is knee-deep in twang and good times, but then it shifts into a Memphis Horns–esque soul review with Niemann spilling out hip-hop–inspired party verses. This trickles down into "Whiskey Kinda Way," a heartbroken weeper of the classic order. There are more than a few odes to libation here, but then Niemann shows off his eclecticism with "Get on Up," where the worlds of dub reggae and '60s pop creep their way in. West Coast queen Colbie Caillat stops by for the jazzy-soul number "I'm All About You," helping create an album that shows off Niemann's considerable voice and ambition.

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