Dear Bo Jackson
Reviewed by Meaghan Paulosky
Going into the title track of Dear Bo Jackson, expectations were high. The Weeks absolutely killed it at their Milkboy show in January, managing to outperform their already strong 2012 Gutter Gaunt Gangster re-release. Ever since they signed onto Kings of Leon’s Serpents and Snakes Records, The Weeks have been maturing and defining their sound. Mix in six months of touring and introducing a keyboard, the album could not disappoint. It almost sounds unfair to expect so much, but they can handle it.
If 2008’s Comeback Cadillac was their foot in the door, Dear Bo Jackson is the proverbial ripping off of hinges. The album marries together their usual Mississippi rock with a more distinctive identity. Earlier albums all elicited the same reaction: is that KOL’s lead singer? No, Caleb Followill it is not. The Weeks lead singer Cyle Barnes comes into his own with this album, as does the rest of the band.
The title track reintroduces the band as one you already love with a fast tempo and the vocals to match. This time around there is a clear attempt at more variation; the song starts with a layout like that of “The House We Grew Up In” and dives into a heavy focus on guitar and that new raging keyboard.
In songs such as “Gobi Blues” and “Chickahominy”, you’re reminded of their Southern roots in both instrumentation and vocal delivery. This is their big divorce from the Kings of Leon comparisons. Sure, they sound a hell of lot alike, but The Weeks’ expertly incorporate poignant bridges, traditionally Southern instruments and just the right touch of keyboard to make sure there is no confusion. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself reminiscing about long, humid summer days spent by the Mississippi River, even though you grew up by the Schuylkill.
As of right now The Weeks don’t have plans to be in the area any time soon, but maybe if we hit play just enough times they’ll make their way back up North. That really shouldn’t be a challenge, though, with this kick-ass album.