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YMMV / Zac Brown Band

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  • Award Snub: Infamously passed over for Best New Artist at the CMA Awards. By Hootie. They did however end up winning the award the following year.
  • Broken Base:
    • "Chicken Fried", despite being one of their biggest hits and the song that broke them through, is considered by some fans to be their worst song. Main points of criticism include less melodic/instrumental interplay than their later material, and hackneyed lyrics that hit on a lot of the radio-friendly tropes they would later avoid (such as the blatantly patriotic third verse).
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    • "Beautiful Drug". To those who love it, it's the ZBB turning their Genre Roulette Up to Eleven; to those who hate it, it's a talented band selling out by chasing the contemporary trend of electronica-influenced country (e.g., Sam Hunt).
    • "Castaway" to a lesser extent. It's either their best or worst Once an Episode beachy song; those who like it think that it brings out the vocal harmony more strongly than most of their previous singles, while those who hate it think that it's a tired rehash that sounds like Sebastian the crab is doing the backing vocals.
    • Jekyll + Hyde in general vs. its successor Welcome Home. Did the former push the band's sound in new and exciting directions, or was it a bloated mess? Is the latter a welcome cooldown from the former, or is it a snooze that seems like a backhanded apology for those who hated the former?
  • Covered Up: Subverted with "Chicken Fried". The band first recorded it during its independent days, and later gave the song to The Lost Trailers on the condition that they not release it as a single. The Trailers' label ignored this request, and an incensed Zac demanded they pull it.
    • And a rare straight example with "Dress Blues", a cover of Jason Isbell.
  • Dork Age: The latter two singles off Jekyll + Hyde, spilling into the Welcome Home era. It didn't help that the latter was launched by "My Old Man", a ballad seen by many as sleepy and boring, nor that the second single "Roots" inexplicably had half of its interesting lyrics gutted for the radio edit. Then came The Owl, a 2019 project which featured even more electronica, R&B, and hip-hop influences which made the experimental Jekyll + Hyde seem tame in comparison.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: ZBB member Clay Cook was originally a songwriting partner of John Mayer. They split due to creative differences; John wanted to expand his horizons, while Clay wanted to do pop music. This makes the fact that Clay later joining up with ZBB funny due to the band being multi-genre.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • "Highway 20 Ride", about a divorced father's emotions over visiting his son.
    • Also, "Colder Weather". Despite being a little vague and open-ended (on purpose), it'll really get to you with its story of a man and woman who are separated by colder weather.
    • "My Old Man", for anyone who was close to their father.
    • "As She's Walking Away", for anyone who's experienced unrequited love.
  • Signature Song: For mainstream audiences, "Chicken Fried"; for fans, "Colder Weather."
  • Win Back the Crowd: Welcome Home was an attempt to do this for the fans turned off by the eclectic sound of Jekyll + Hyde.

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