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Home Free – Country Evolution album review

The country a cappella group arrive in the UK.

Home Free
Credit: Sony

Country music has delivered a rich variety of artists over the years but Home Free has to be one of the most unusual. The quintet rose to fame on the fourth season of the US show The Sing-Off in 2013 where they won the show impressing with their tight a cappella harmonies. They released their major label debut Crazy Life in 2014 and followed it up with Full of Cheer later that year. Now the group is bringing their latest album Country Evolution over to the UK.

For Country Evolution the group has recorded a mixture of popular country tracks and original songs. The album opens with Summer in the Country, the first of four original tracks to be included on the UK release. The song sets the tone for the album and if you’re not familiar with Home Free, it gives you a clear indication of what they’re all about. The harmonies are tight, as you’d expect, and the song has a strong melody that is both catchy and memorable.

The first of the covers included on the album is the Dolly Parton classic 9 to 5. The old karaoke favourite has been sung to death but Home Free put their own stamp on the track breathing new life into it. Elsewhere on the album they mash-up Little Big Town’s Down in the Boondocks with Nitty Gritty Band’s Fishin’ in the Dark. The end result is surprisingly effective and the two songs actually work really well together. The cover of Andy Grammer’s 2014 hit Honey, I’m Good is one of the highlights and I enjoyed their rendition of Sam Hunt’s fantastic House Party too.

Home Free shines brightest on their original material with Don’t It Feel Good standing out from the pack. If you imagine The Overtones going country then this is what the end result would be. The song has a feel-good vibe and the harmonies sound the best we’ve heard on the track. Each of the members of the group is easy to pick out and when they come together it’s magic.

Country Evolution is a solid effort from the group. A cappella is an acquired taste so Home Free won’t appeal to everyone but if you want something a little different from your country music then we suggest you check this album out. The guys sound like they’re having a blast and their energy is too infectious to resist.

Track listing: 1. Summer In The Country 2. Good Ol’ Country Harmony 3. 9 To 5 4. Elvira – Home Free feat. The Oak Ridge Boys 5. Don’t It Feel Good 6. Honey, I’m Good 7. Friends in Low Places 8. Fishin’ in the Dark/Down in the Boondocks 9. The Devil Went Down To Georgia – Home Free feat. Charlie Daniels & Taylor Davis 10. House Party 11. California Country Record Company: Sony Music CMG Release Date: 15th January 2016


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