Label: Elektra (NEK)
The debut from Zac Brown's side project, Sir Rosevelt, finds him stepping away from country music (albeit his own uniquely jammy version of it) to deliver an album bursting with raucous funk rock and lightly seasoned with dance pop gloss. The opening "Sunday Finest" says it all: revved-up horns, thunderous hand claps and ecstatic yelps all riding a groove that crosses Bruno Mars' retro-boogie with the kind of high-energy stomp heard at all-night hoedowns. Then there's the bass-pounding "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us," which maintains the deliriously fast pace while also adding all sorts of cinematic color, including spaghetti western brass and gunslinger guitars. But it isn't all party jams: the gospel-kissed "Hurricane," for instance, is a smoky reflection on decadence and failed love that lends the album balance both musically and emotionally.