The Oak Ridge Boys album, “The Boys are Back,” is growing on me. Since the 80’s and the days of “Elvira,” their voices sound a little gruffer, and the harmonization isn’t quite as tight on the album. That being said, there’s a lot of things to love about the album. John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” is a delight. Their cover of Neil Young’s Beautiful Bluebird is tender (although the aging of the vocals is apparent on this song).
When I first heard the Oak Ridge Boys cover of the White Stripe’s single “Seven Nation Army”, I thought, “you have got to be kidding me.” But after a few listens, I found the song stuck in my head. Now? The song is no longer is awesomely bad, but ridiculous fun.
I’m not a fan of the title song, written for the Oak Ridge Boys by Shooter Jennings does not quite work in my opinion. The harmonies are not as tight on the single and the lyrics are prime examples of what turns me off to mainstream country today-dripping with sentiment and pandering to the lowest common denominator.*
That being said, all in all, it’s a pretty good album. One that I don’t mind listening all the way through, and it’s great to see the Boys back recording. They are one Country Music institution that would be a shame to see go extinct.
Seven Nation Army covered by the Oak Ridge Boys
Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys in the ‘70s(?).
*Harsh words, I know--but it's just an opinion--please don't be offended if you like mainstream country music.