There comes a time in an artist’s career where the self-titled album is a necessity. While many artists find the need to self-tile their first albums to help define them from the jump, country music’s Brothers Osborne saved the eponymous moniker for their fourth album, an album that comes after considerable growth for brothers John Osborne and TJ Osborne. John’s been open about his problems with depression and mental illness while TJ became the first openly gay male within the major label country music ecosystem and the band has thrived since their openness and thus we are here with the release of Brothers Osborne, their self-titled fourth album for EMI Records Nashville.
The changes on the album continue with the choice to change producers from Jay Joyce to Mike Elizondo. Elizondo — a Grammy-winning genre chameleon whose produced artists as diverse as Fiona Apple, Ry Cooder, Twenty One Pilots, Eminem and Carrie Underwood along with co-writing hits career-defining hits with Eminem, Mary J. Bilge and 50 Cent — fits quite well with Brothers Osborne, whose brand of country music has always been guitar-driven bops with roots in the blues, southern rock, hard rock and, of course, country music’s acoustic-based storytelling. The eleven tracks on Brothers Osborne run the gamut of the strengths of the band but there’s an otherworldly feel to quite a few of the sides on the record.
Cohesive from start to finish, Brothers Osborne finds playful moments for the duo with lead single “Nobody’s Nobody” and “Sun Ain’t Down Yet” mixed with groove-filled, disco-y, soulful moments in “Love You Too,” “Goodbye’s Kickin’ In” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Got Time For That” while honesty in relationships come in the form of “Might As Well Be Me,” “We Ain’t Good At Breaking Up” and the highlight closer “Rollercoaster (Forever and a Day).” The last two songs probably couldn’t have been made by Brothers Osborne previous to living authentically as who they are, warts and all. “We Ain’t Good At Breaking Up” is a mid tempo, vibe-y confection co-written by and featuring Miranda Lambert about an all-to-real relationship dynamic, something that’s also true about “Rollercoaster (Forever and a Day).”
“Rollercoaster (Forever and a Day)” is a song about the couple who isn’t perfect. The ones who break up only to get back together again. It’s a cinematic masterpiece and the first time the band has lead with a piano instead of John Osborne’s mighty guitars (though he still is on it with acoustic guitars). It’s a moment where TJ Osborne gets to shine vocally as the song ventures into a cascading string quartet which only adds to the lucious melodic conclusion of a self-titled album which tells the world exactly who Brothers Osborne are.