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American Love

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Album Review

American Love arrives three years after 2013's Days of Gold — not an exceptionally protracted delay but long enough to suggest there was some behind-the-scenes tinkering afoot, a suspicion supported by the fleet rise and fall of "Real Life" in 2015. That single isn't on American Love but it's not missed, not with Jake Owen returning to the sunny disposition that marked his big breakthrough, Barefoot Blue Jean Night. On the whole, American Love isn't as strident as that 2011 album, a record so gleaming it generated a glare when it hit direct sunlight, but its relative mellowness masquerades a certain slyness in its construction. This album may flow easy but it has some modern tricks: "After Midnight" pulsates to its throwback analog synths, "Good Company" glides upon a beach breeze, and "If He Ain't Gonna Love You" bounces along to a disco beat that is barely disguised. These selections, strategically sequenced throughout the record, reveal a livelier, savvier country than the bro country that Owen mined on his earlier records. Make no mistake, he'll still crank up the amplifiers and turn out arena-filling anthems, but even those tunes contain a slight air of maturation; it's party music with a bittersweet streak. It's an appealing blend of moods that Owen accentuates by modulating his delivery, choosing to lie back instead of lean into the songs, a tactic that gives the lighter moments a melancholy pull and the ballads a bit of grace. Often, the best moments of American Love are the softest: a sunbleached slice of regret called "LAX," the skillful adult contemporary pop of "You Ain't Going Nowhere," and the slow churn of "Where I Am," each of which benefits from Owen's light touch, which now feels weathered, not boyish. Even so, this light weariness is a grace note to an album that ultimately is about sunlit good times, but it's enough to give American Love some resonance.

Customer Reviews


I was just listening to "Startin With Me" last night. What happened to that Jake Owen?? American Country Love Song is a solid song. The rest of the album that's been released makes me think he's trying to be the next Adam Levine and Maroon 5. Jake Owen has always been one of my favorite artists. Unfortunately, I'm almost ready to put the "sellout" label on him!


Belive it or not Jake Owen used to sing country music, and it was really good! listen to his album "startin' with me" and you will be amazed.

Ford Truck

Jake Owen with a new hairstyle & new album. Excited to hear a new album from Jake Owen


Born: August 28, 1981 in Vero Beach, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When plans for a professional golfing career were derailed by an injury, country songwriter Jake Owen picked up a guitar and never looked back. A native of Vero Beach, Florida, Owen and his fraternal twin Jarrod grew up in the Florida sun playing sports like baseball and football before Jake turned to golf and Jarrod to tennis. They continued their respective sports together as students at Florida State University, until a water-skiing accident resulted in reconstructive surgery for Jake. Off the...
Full Bio