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Zach Bryan: Boys of Faith Review

Issue+30.10.09.23.Creativity
Jules Perez
Issue 30.10.09.23.Creativity

Zach Bryan, a young and talented country artist, released the album Boys of Faith on Sept. 22, 2023, featuring Noah Kahan and Bon Iver. With over 30 million listeners, the album jumped on the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1 and simultaneously topped Billboard’s Country, Rock & Alternative, Americana/Folk, and Rock album charts. The songs are easy to resonate with because of the familiar sense of home throughout the songs. 

With 9,252,294 streams on Spotify, “Nine Ball” became the most popular song on the album. The emotional song is about a father who bets on his son’s pool skills. The drunk father has more debt than he has money. To try and pay off some of it, he gets men to play against his 12-year-old son and watches as his son beats them. The kid earns his father’s love by winning money and clearing away the debt. However, the son just wants to be a normal kid. He wants to try out for the football team and wants his dad to take him fishing. He wants to experience having a typical father who loves him no matter what, not because he’s exceptional at playing pool. The song comments on how his father takes the betting too far, damaging his son’s life and putting unnecessary pressure on his kid. The heartbreaking words sung by Bryan remind us of how having a loving father makes a difference in a young child’s life. 

Steering away from the sad theme, “Sarah’s Place” is a heartwarming song about a girl who left her hometown and made something of herself. From the boyfriend’s point of view, he talks about how he’s full of pride and is so happy for her. He never left their hometown; he describes his life as messy, and he’s still unsure about what he will do for the rest of his life. When she calls to check in on him and her family, he tells her never to return and that she should be so proud of herself. Loved ones encouraging us to make something great out of ourselves fills us with comfort. Knowing you are loved, and your family is proud of you is a great feeling. The girl is lucky to have such a great support system.  They are ready to help her back up when she falls.

My favorite song on the album, “Boys of Faith,” is about a group of boys who dream of being in the spotlight. One of the boy’s girls never gives up on him, sticking by him through all their troubles. They try repeatedly to accomplish their goals, each time failing, but she never discourages him from pursuing his dreams. The man never loses faith because of her. One day, when they are out on a date, the girlfriend messes around with her camera and takes a picture of him, saying that he will be on a billboard one day and wants to remember the quiet days. Finally, the band makes it big, and they are in New York doing a show when he looks around and sees himself on the billboards. She tells him how proud of them she is, and she can’t wait to keep watching them grow into something unique.

“Deep Satin” is the fourth song on the album and the music many people can resonate with. The protagonist in the song is from a small, quiet town who moved to Manhattan, though he feels lonely in the big city lights. Seeking consolation in any way he can, he spends the night with a beautiful girl who gives him a sense of comfort. The song talks about how the loud noises and bright lights that come with city life are unusual for the foreigner. He’s tired of the fake friends and people who use him repeatedly. Verse two discusses how the protagonist misses home, his friends, and his simple country life. When he thinks about returning home, he wonders if his ex-lover and her friends still think of him as the bad guy. He says he would fulfill the role she had painted him as if only they could get back together and she would be in his arms again. Knowing that trouble always seems to find him, he knows he can’t return home because his demons are on his tail. The last verse talks about how God is not here to help him through his struggles, yet the devil will always keep him company. He fears bringing home trouble when his town is his comfort zone.

The final song on the track, “Pain Sweet Pain,” is about conquering your fears and overcoming challenges. Accomplishing our goals is a fantastic feeling which can make some people cocky. The song says to humble yourself, for you will fall and lose people if you do not. The importance of self-humility is a strong theme throughout the song. When you accomplish your goal and reach a thriving place in your life, turn around and help the next person pursue their dreams. Getting hung up on the past and your past struggles do not allow you to move forward or give you a free pass to slack off. Bryan enforced the theme of community and helping one another throughout the song. He strongly emphasizes helping your neighbor reach their goal and never quit. To always work through the problems and to keep pushing yourself. 

“Zach Bryan,” a more extended album before this one was released, had millions of hits, but I think it’s safe to say that Bryan’s songs are always loved. Both albums feel comfortable and are suitable for a long drive. “Boys of Faith” was another successful track, each with deep and fulfilling meanings. Overall, I would rate this article an 8.5/10. Uncovering the importance of each piece makes you understand what could be going on in someone’s life. The next time you are in a soulful mood, turn on “Boys of Faith” and listen to your heart’s content.

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About the Contributor
Jules Perez, Editor of Global
Jules Perez is a staff writer for The Daily Howl at Castaic High School. One day she aspires to be a fiction author, which requires writing experience. Becoming a better writer and learning the ropes of journalism is one of her goals this year. She believes getting a better understanding of what is happening in her community and writing about it will help her in the long run. Writing and English have always been her strong suits and passions, and she is excited to improve her skills. Jules loves roping, riding her horses, spending time with friends and family, and baking.
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