Maryland natives T.J. and John Osborne make up the popular country duo Brothers Osborne. The brothers signed a recording contract with EMI Records Nashville in 2012 and have had a grand impact on the music industry ever since. This Grammy award-winning duo recently released a self-titled album. Named one of the most anticipated albums of the year by The Los Angeles Times, Brothers Osborne incorporates country, blues, and rock genres into a collection of eleven songs about life, relationships, and love.
The album begins with “Who Says You Can’t Have Everything”—an upbeat optimistic song about being happy with the way your life has turned out. This opening tune starts us off on such a positive note with lines like, “I hit the mother load far as life goes, this is livin.’” The lead vocalist T.J. Osborne shares that he is “alive and kickin’, laid back and living the dream.” As the title suggests, the message of the song is to not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or can’t make your dream a reality. Continuing with the upbeat, cheerful melodies, “Nobody’s Nobody” is the second track on the album. The message shared is that everybody is important in their own way. That no one should be considered a “nobody” because everyone is a somebody.
Both such bright songs to get listeners into a good mood.
From incredible instrumentals to low octave vocals, “Might As Well Be Me” is quite a memorable song from the album. This country-rock track with a heavy drum beat and a catchy chorus including “Somebody gotta shake things up/Somebody gotta shut things down/Somebody gotta strike a match/Break the ice and buy the first round” will have you tapping your boots right from the start. The higher backing vocals from John put emphasis on T.J.’s main vocals that makes for a perfect sing-along type of song.
Moving on to one of my personal favorites from the album purely due to the guitar riffs and bluesy sound, “Goodbye’s Kickin’ In” is a song about a breakup and convincing yourself that you’re fine but the truth is you’re not really over it. The ‘goodbye’ in this case is the breakup and the narrator is starting to feel the heartbreak. The lyrics paint a picture of this feeling with, “Went from feelin’ right (aha)/Just the right amount of tipsy (aha)/To the wishing you were with me/Yeah, the goodbyes kickin’ in.” He doesn’t want to miss the person from the breakup but can’t help it and hopes that they are also feeling the same way. The choir singing of “Sayin’ goodbye” and the sharp strings near the end only add to this sad yet beautifully produced track. Similarly, “We Ain’t Good At Breaking Up” has the same theme of breaking up with someone but then wanting them back. In this case, both parties want to get back together—the two songs could be related but even if they’re not they certainly are good additions to the album that listeners can relate to.
The album ends with a love ballad titled “Rollercoaster (Forever And A Day).” The soft piano playing, acoustic guitar, and beautiful strings accompany touching lyrics such as, “When I am winter, you are summer/When I am autumn, you are spring/When I’m high and dry, you’re my drop of rain.” Osborne sings of being in a relationship with someone and even though sometimes they drive you crazy, you would never leave them because they mean the world to you. A wistful song that gives the album a very satisfying ending.
In their fourth studio album, T.J. and John Osborne sing about their newfound freedom and being proud of who you are. This long-awaited release produced by Mike Elizondo shares so many stories of life experiences and incorporates different sound elements that we haven’t seen from them before. The brothers will be on tour this fall to promote their music and share their musical journey with fans.
Reviewed by Carmen Zdanis