Jake Owen's day in the sun was a long time coming. Moderately successful from the start, he scored his first blockbuster in 2011 with Barefoot Blue Jean Night, a set of suburban country-pop so polished it gleamed. It proudly followed the path paved by Luke Bryan, a fellow country bro who appeared after Owen but quickly overshadowed him, partially because Bryan embraced every manner of revelry, right down to a series of Spring Break EPs -- a move Owen mimicked with his own Endless Summer.
Country-radio fixture Jake Owen takes his barefoot-beefcake-surf-bum-slacker role to heart, like only an ex-wakeboarder from Vero Beach, Florida, could: "Laaaaid back," as he inhales, Snoop-style, in the tentatively rap-cadenced "Beachin'," which also mentions a reggae band and the koozie in his hand. "Tall Glass of Something" lists the most beverages, and "1972," about how cool his dad must have been when record stores had names like Sympathy for the Vinyl, isn't bothered that "Fly Like an Eagle" technically came out four years later. To paraphrase J-Kwon, everybody in this beach gettin' "Tipsy" (another song title here), so drink up.
In the late ’70s, if you loved Black Flag, which was led by the guitarist and songwriter Greg Ginn, it generally meant that you had some thoughts about corruption and complacency in American culture, and that you hated expensive-sounding rock bands like Boston, which was led by the guitarist and songwriter Tom Scholz. If you loved Boston, it meant primarily that you lived somewhere near a radio. But since they are releasing fairly dismal new records on the same day, we might consider what they had in common.