Review: Jackson Dean Remains Untamed with New Album ‘Greenbroke’

by Clayton Edwards
review-jackson-dean-remains-untamed-with-new-album-greenbroke

Jackson Dean caught our attention when he dropped his self-titled debut EP last year. His expressive vocals combined with a seamless blend of blues, rock, and country had us hooked immediately. Then, he found a larger audience when Yellowstone featured his single “Don’t Come Lookin’,” Since then, we’ve all been anxiously waiting to see what Jackson Dean had to offer with his debut album.

Greenbroke dropped this morning and it has been hard to listen to anything else. The ten-track album expands on Jackson Dean’s debut EP and truly highlights his depth and range as both an artist and songwriter. From raucous tracks like “Don’t Come Lookin’” to soulful love songs like “Fearless” and the heartbroken “Other Than Me” Dean ticks all the boxes here.

Sonically, Greenbroke is as varied as the subject matter Jackson Dean covers on the album. The record has plenty of steel guitar for the traditional country crowd. “Don’t Take Much” also features some solid banjo work. However, “Red Light” would be right at home on a rock & roll playlist.

Standout Tracks from Greenbroke

Jackson Dean made one hell of an impression with his debut full-length album. There really isn’t a bad song on this one. However, it was easy for me to pick my favorites because they’re just that much better than the rest.

“Trailer Park”

This is the first new song you hear on Jackson Dean’s new album and it makes the whole thing worth the wait. “Trailer Park” is Dean’s ode to being hard to tame. He compares his heart to a trailer park over a driving bluesy arrangement. This one also features a smokin’-hot guitar solo. That, combined with lines like “I left a breadcrumb trail or shotgun shells / And I’m still damn hard to find,” makes this one of the coolest songs on the album.

“Superstitions”

Listening to “Superstitions” and “Trailer Park” back-to-back highlights the range that Jackson Dean has on this album. In this tune, Dean sings about all the superstitions he holds to in hopes of keeping a good woman in his life. He does this over a laid-back fingerstyle guitar arrangement that allows his vocals to shine. The sound gets a little bigger during the choruses. Understated drums and a second guitar swell under the heartfelt hook. “Superstitions, do all that I can / I put four-leaf clovers inside your nightstand. / Superstitions, they’re tried and they’re true. / I’m tryna keep luck on my side to keep you.”

If you’re ever looking for a love song to dedicate to that special someone, this is it.

“Don’t Take Much”

“Don’t Take Much” is one of the most country-sounding songs on the new Jackson Dean album. Sonically, it’s a foot-tapper that features some great guitar and banjo work with production that harkens back to the best parts of 90s country. The lyrics are autobiographical yet relatable. According to his website, Dean left home at 18 to live in a concrete shack with no heat or plumbing. “Don’t Take Much” is about those days.

The chorus speaks volumes about Jackson Dean’s outlook on life. “Some might say I’m roughin’ it. / But I’m a long, long way from bummin’ it. / I’m young and free like the wind in a live oak tree. / There’s gold in the sun when I wake up. / A little bit of liquor in my coffee cup. / I got boots on the floor and Old Glory on the wall. / It don’t take much to have it all.

Final Verdict on the New Jackson Dean Album

Jackson Dean didn’t just put together a good album here. It’s downright impressive. This doesn’t sound like an album that a 20-something-year-old would make. Dean co-penned all of the songs on this record and they’re all soulful, self-aware, and, at times, world-weary. On top of that, his voice sounds like it’s coming from a man almost twice his age. In short, Jackson Dean is musically mature beyond his years. At the same time, this is just the beginning for the Maryland native. Keep your eyes on this one, fellow Outsiders. The country music world will be talking about this guy for years to come.  

Do yourself a favor and listen to it today.

Outsider.com