Zac Brown Band’s sophomore album You Get What You Give is a great display of why the band is such a hit amongst not only country fans, but also a wide array of music fans. The beach-country genre has remained a fairly untapped market as of late, and ZBB is arguably the first beach-country group of this level of commercial success since Jimmy Buffett.
Buffett, the musical-mastermind behind “Margaritaville,” has actually played a role on this album, helping ZBB out on their second track, “Knee Deep.” The song is a very lively song reminiscent of “Toes” from their debut album. It’s a lively tune about finding the “key to paradise” in the ocean. Another great song on this album is “Keep Me in Mind.” Starting of with a simple yet catchy high-hat groove accompanied by a nice, clean reggae guitar riff, “Keep Me in Mind” serves as the ‘I’m desperately longing for your love’ tune to wrap the album together.
The musical techniques employed by ZBB are exhilarating enough to be modest. The only real downside to the album is its lack of, well, progress. Every band has its respective “sound.” That’s what makes bands unique enough to be admired over its competition. But in the case of ZBB, the band seems to have gutted a handful of tracks from their first major label studio album and dressed them up with new lyrics.
While this doesn’t sound bad by any means, it gets a little redundant at points. Also in question is the ZBB’s versatility. While they feature a good variety of country-reggae styles, the style is just that — country-reggae.
You Get What You Give is musically sound and showcases musicianship sparsely represented in mainstream entertainment, but it lacks any appeal to the group of people who aren’t partial to the sound of country music. Overall, though, the album is a solid example of what people should look for in music — great musicianship, a variety of lyrical content and a good example of a band staying true to the sound that got ZBB where it is today.