Jekyll + Hyde is the fourth major-label studio album by the Zac Brown Band. It was released on April 28, 2015. The album's lead single, "Homegrown", was released on January 12, 2015. "Heavy Is the Head", featuring Chris Cornell, was released two months later to the rock format. "Loving You Easy" is the album's second release to country, and third single overall.
The band played the songs "Homegrown" and "Dress Blues" from the album at the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship pregame show. On March 7, 2015, the band performed "Homegrown" and "Heavy Is the Head" on Saturday Night Live, the latter performed with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell who provides guest vocals on the track. The band embarked on their Jekyll + Hyde Tour in May 2015 in promotion of the album.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 album chart on the week ending May 3, 2015, earning 228,000 album-equivalent units (214,000 copies of traditional sales), making it their third number one album on the Billboard 200 chart. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA on September 11, 2015. As of August 2016, the album has sold 672,400 copies in the United States.
Carl Wilson of Billboard rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars. His review stated that "The album is a good-faith effort to match or even outstrip the band's onstage eclecticism, and the musical personality shifts help relieve the group's tendency to blandness, providing cover for Brown's dutifully generic, if personable voice. Some longer-standing fans, though, might judge the changes as diabolical as the two-faced Robert Louis Stevenson character that lends the album its name." He also thought that "Dress Blues" was the strongest track. Also giving it 3.5 out of 5, Thom Jurek of Allmusic expressed general favor in the variety of stylistic choices, highlighting "Dress Blues", "Junkyard", "Remedy", "Loving You Easy", and "One Day" in particular, adding that "The stylistic range of Jekyll + Hyde proves that ZBB's reach is almost limitless, and this set will more than likely delight the group's legions of fans." However, he criticized "Wildfire" and the acoustic rendition of "Tomorrow Never Comes" as "unnecessary" and thought that the production was "too bright". Giving it 3 out of 5 stars, Will Hermes of Rolling Stone praised the variety of musical styles on the album, but felt that some of the songs were "a little predictable". He thought that "Dress Blues", written and originally recorded by Jason Isbell, was the strongest track.
Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Kyle Anderson rated the album "C+", stating that "Brown rarely fails to push the boundaries of the genre. It’s an admirable outlook to have in the oft-stuffy world of Nashville formalism, and it has led his band to multiplatinum success. But the group’s fourth studio full-length goes miles beyond even their most off-the-beaten-path excursions, and not always for the better...Though Brown’s vocals adjust to Jekyll + Hyde's multiple personalities, he can’t provide enough continuity to keep the album cohesive, and the borderline-goofy gambits are more distracting than interesting. The album certainly proves that ZBB have range. But at some point, experimentation swerves into self-indulgence, and Brown never gets around to solving Jekyll’s identity crisis." He thought that "Young and Wild" and "Heavy Is the Head" were the strongest tracks. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times gave a mixed review, stating that the album "suggests a path forward. Rather than follow the hip-hop hybrids of the day, the album offers a huge amalgam of soft rock, country-rock, hard rock, heavyish metal, big band music, bluegrass and, yes, a touch of electronic music." Caramanica was also critical of Brown's singing, saying that his "unimaginative voice can gum up a song, as it does here on 'Dress Blues,' and he rarely moves past lyrical platitudes. When he evokes Kenny Rogers, as on 'One Day,' it’s effective, but more often it’s a liability." He also thought of the musical arrangements that "Even when Mr. Brown is taking it easy, though, the band is working hard, eager to show it’s trapped inside a flimsy box."
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