I’ve seen Brothers Osborne play live a couple of times: once at a 500-capacity venue and, after the pandemic, they comfortably sold out a 3000-seater on a Sunday night.

There’s nothing remarkable in that, ostensibly. Bands tend to get bigger, after all. But it always strikes me with country music that, well, I don’t live in the country. I live just outside the home of heavy metal. By my reckoning, that’s about 3500 miles from their Maryland album.

Yet, there’s an audience for this music, for this sound, and I’ll contend that the reason lies in their first song.

“Who Says You Can’t Have Everything” essentially exists on the premise that you don’t need anything, or at least, not anything you haven’t already got. “I’m kicking back and living the dream,” sings T.J Osborne, and that’s it. These are the working-class small-town heroes; they are like us.

It also helps that they are brilliant at what they do. Listening to their current single “Nobody’s Nobody” is like attending a masterclass on how it’s done.

T.J has the perfect deep voice for this stuff, and brother John is a master on the guitar. The pair can pen a song (they co-write all of them), and this time, the brothers enlisted Mike Elizondo (known for his work with Sheryl Crow, Turnstile, Dr. Dre, Twenty One Pilots, Lin-Manuel Miranda) to produce, entrusting him with curating their own band of studio musicians, including Paul McCartney’s drummer, Abe Laboriel Jr., behind the kit. Miranda Lambert provides the LP’s sole guest vocals on “We Ain’t Good at Breaking Up,” after co-writing the song with Brothers Osborne and Jesse Frasure.

By and large, these songs are country enough for the Nashville crowd but tough enough for the Planet Rock audience. Hell, Def Leppard would be proud of the drum sound on “Might As Well Be Me.”

“Sun Ain’t Even Gone Down Yet” is the Friday night party song that will be the talk of the Honky-Tonk (and gets bonus points for rhyming “Cold libations” with “indications” without so much as a bat of the eyelids). If soul-filled ballads are your thing, then there’s “Goodbye’s Kicking In.”

“Love You Too” is a clever middle finger in the air to the haters, and there’s bound to be loads of them when bands are this good. “New Bad Habit” is another from the rocking end of what they do, and the aforementioned “We Ain’t Good at Breaking Up” is a love song from the top drawer.

“Back Home” underlines what I said at the start about the way they sell the dream of small towns to all of us. It’s a magnificent slice of nostalgia from the perspective of a rock star, and its glow warms all of us.

John Osborne talks about the way they evolve and still be themselves; he might have had “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” in mind when he said it. It’s a disco song, but it sounds exactly like Brothers Osborne. It’s quite something.

And the pianos come out in a very Elton John way for “Rollercoaster (Forever And A Day),” and I’ll wager now that it will be the first dance at weddings everywhere in 2024.

This speaks again to the universality of what they do, doesn’t it? These songs will connect with so many.

“Brothers Osborne” is a perfect document of where the siblings are at the moment. Actually, it might be their definitive statement, so far…

Rating: 9/10

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