Jake Owen has lived a lot of life since releasing his last album three years ago but don’t expect to hear an autobiography of events showcased on his latest effort, American Love. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite.
“Over the past few years I’ve experienced the unexpected,” he says. “My Dad received a cancer diagnosis and I, unfortunately, went through a divorce. People probably thought I would record songs that reflected those difficult times, but I found myself gravitating to songs that had more of a positive vibe and actually made me feel better by singing them. Music truly does seem to help the healing process.”
As a result, American Love’s 11 tracks embody the Jake Owen fans have come to know and love — the laid back, beach loving, VW traveling singer in all his glory. While Owen has dubbed the past few years an “interesting ride” at a recent listening event in Nashville, his fun side thankfully has not subsided. Songs like the feel-good “VW Van” and jazzy “Good Company” showcase Owen’s new horn section that put him equally at ease playing on an island or in an arena. It’s a welcomed and renewed spirit that no doubt is felt by Owen and fans in the live setting.
The album is bookended by the title track and Owen’s latest single “American Country Love Song” — both upbeat, horn-driven songs that are familiar staples from the singer. Meanwhile, the sentimental “LAX” follows “Good Company” and is the only track Owen co-wrote on the album. Country at its finest with plenty of pedal steel and the singer’s yearning baritone, “LAX” has Owen begging those in California to watch out and take care of his former love.