CD Review: Old School New Rules by Hank Williams Jr.

 Posted by at 4:12 pm on September 18, 2012
Sep 182012

album cover

Old School, New Rules starts off by kicking you in the mouth with the song, “Takin’ Back the Country,” a song that features a chorus of, “Don’t tread on me, don’t you tread on me…hey are you ready for some good news, we’re gonna take back our country!”  His father, the legendary Hank Williams Sr. has a few old recorded lines mixed into the song for a neat duet feature, then the song culminates with the parting line of  “Hey Barack pack your bags, head to Chicago, take your teleprompter with you so you’ll know where to go.”

From there the CD temporarily gets back on track as a traditional Hank Williams Jr. album with a duet with Brad Paisley titled “I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams,” a song featured on the CMT Awards back in June.

“Three Day Trip” has an island feel to it, as Hank gets in touch with his inner Jimmy Buffet.

“Old School” is a homage to the “old school” way of doing things in the music business in a classic country-style of a song.

Hank gets back into the politically charged theme that is intertwined throughout this album with the next song, “We Don’t Apologize for America.”  The highlight of the song is when Merle Haggard joins him for the final verse, “When you’re running down our country, hoss, you’re walkin’ on the fighting side of me.”

“The Cow Turd Blues” has to be one of the most make-me-spit-my-drink-out song-titles I have ever seen.  In one verse, he dedicates the song to Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and President Harry Truman, who once said, “Never kick a cow turd on a hot day, or you might get some poo on your pants leg.”  Despite the title, it’s actually a fun, upbeat and fast-tempo song.

The politically charged theme is driven home in the the final half of the album with songs such as, “Who is Taking Care of Number One,” “That Ain’t Good,” “Keep the Change,” and “Stock Market Blues,” before closing with a duet with Merle Haggard on Haggard’s hit, “I Think I’ll Just Sit Here and Drink.”

Overall I’d give this album a score of 6.5 out of 10.  There are some good songs on it, but with half of the songs being political in nature, he should’ve borrowed a title from Toby Keith and called it The Angry American instead.  While I personally agree with a lot of what he sings about, it is hard to settle in and enjoy the vibe of one song just to have it disrupted by getting fired up by the next one.


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