Music Box: Jake Owen, “Days of Gold”

As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That message is something country star Jake Owen has taken to heart while putting together his latest album “Days of Gold.” It could be tough to follow up on an album that produced four No. 1 hits, including the title track “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” But by keeping producer Joey Moi (Nickelback, Florida Georgia Line, Daughtry) on board for this project, Owen proves that he’s ready to keep topping the charts.
The title track from his fourth studio album is exactly what listeners have come to know and expect from the 32-year-old Florida native. “Days of Gold” provides that upbeat, high-energy feel to a summer song that caters to those ready to have a good time. Owen sticks to his guns on this track, in which the narrator discusses ideal summer nights and, yes, how those nights are the “days of gold.” It kicks off the album that has other similar material.
“Beachin’” is another fun track that connects Owen to those who love a good time. He and his label, RCA Nashville, have already released a video for the song, leading some to wonder if this is the next single. It has all the power to be a hit for Owen as it’s a slower version of the songs “Days of Gold” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” Blending Jimmy Buffett-style sounds with traditional country instruments could prove chart-topping success down the road.
Owen hits a sensitive and, at times, lonelier side on the album, as well. “Ghost Town” brings out Owen’s strong vocals. The lyrics from prominent Nashville songwriters Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley and Shane McAnally are cleverly written, with the narrator trying to outrun his old lover’s memory, but she won’t let him be, forcing him to live in a “ghost town.” “Life of the Party” has an analogous theme. The guitar hook in the opening verse will entice listeners, hooking them into the sing-a-long chorus. Both songs have a strong potential to be radio singles.
“What We Ain’t Got” is the only song that differs from its accompanying tracks. A much slower song than the rest, it is the deepest and, lyrically, the most meaningful song on the project. It provides a different take on the old idea that people want what they can’t have. This is something unlike anything Owen has ever done before, which makes it all the more special.
Although Owen didn’t write any of the songs on the album, those who did help put together something that is sure to resonate with fans. Whether it’s a party jam or something more profound, “Days of Gold” does not disappoint.

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