Album Review: Brothers Osborne - "Skeletons"

While they're rockin' "All Night" on the radio dial, country msuic's brotherly troubadours showcase some musical growth on this, their third album.

Listening to Brothers Osborne’s Skeletons may remind you just how much you miss attending concerts. That’s because these songs were created to be played live. Although the recorded version of “Dead Man’s Curve” is a rave-up – as are many others on the album – it would simply blow the roof off any concert venue. Brothers Osborne music is modern Southern rock at its best.

The duo built the album’s title track upon a thumping guitar groove somewhat like Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road.” It also features some funny/smart lyrics. “You’ve got skeletons in your closest/And I’ve got bones to pick with them.” In addition to the track’s big guitars – which go straight up to 11 – the song also includes plenty of tasty keyboard fills. The sing-along-worthy “Back On The Bottle” is also a fun drinking song (although it’s not safe to be played at AA meetings).

Skeletons isn’t a big message album, coming out as it does during a period of great social unrest. However, “Hatin’ Somebody” simply and succinctly reminds one and all that hatred always gets us nowhere. The album closes with “Old Man’s Boots,” which uses manly footwear as the basis for a sincere song about appreciating dad.

Brothers Osborne’s Skeletons is a mostly loud album, featuring lots of cranked-up electric guitars. Clearly, these two traveled through Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers country to get where they are. However, it’s impossible not to love the top tier musicianship, especially displayed on “Muskrat Greene,” which might best be described as amplified bluegrass. Let’s hope we can experience these great new songs in the live setting soon. Osborne Brothers have served notice that there are roofs to be blown.