In today’s modern country music scene, Eric Church stands out as one of the most dynamic and prolific artists. Because he has released hit singles and critically acclaimed albums for more than a decade, it is difficult to single out a single record as being superior to the others.
In this piece, we’ll go into the songs, concepts, and products that make the best album in Eric Church’s outstanding discography stand out, focusing on the album’s title track “The Weight of These Wings.”
This in-depth examination of Church’s most celebrated album will instill in you a deeper respect for the musicianship and skill that he possesses, regardless of how long you’ve been a devoted follower of his work or how recently you’ve discovered his music.
Now, take a seat, put your feet up, and join me as we discuss the album that best encapsulates Eric Church’s incredible career.
Church released Chief, his third studio album, in July 2011. He was successful if he wanted to show that the success of his first two albums wasn’t an accident.
Commercially, it was an overwhelming success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top Country Albums Charts and giving birth to five hit songs, including two that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list (Springsteen and Drink in My Hand).
After selling more than 3 million copies in a year, it was triple platinum certified. It was the same story when viewed critically. It was nominated for the 54th Grammy Awards’ Best Country Album and won Album of the Year at the CMA and ACM Awards. It was included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time nearly ten years after its debut.
2. Sinners Like Me
If Church wanted to create a big impression with his debut, he did it. Sinners Like Me, which was released in July 2006 and reached No. 7 on the Top Country Albums Chart, immediately made him one of country music’s biggest new sensations.
By reaching its top position of No. 29 on the Billboard 200, it also became a crossover hit. How ‘Bout You, Two Pink Lines, Guys Like Me, and the title cut, the album’s four lead singles, all reached the Hot 100, peaking at Nos. 14, 19, 17, and 51, respectively.
After delivering more than 1 million units, it was later awarded platinum certification. It’s still one of his most well-known albums today, raw, wonderful, and utterly honest.
3. Mr. Misunderstood
Mr. Misunderstood, Church’s fifth studio album, feels like a course correction after their previous album, The Outsiders, which was purposefully exaggerated. It is a great piece of Americana that is filled to the brim with traditional themes of heartbreak and desire.
The album is simple and understated, and it is devoid of excess and free of hype. It was released on November 3, 2015, to generally positive reviews, and it reached its highest position on the Top Country Albums chart as well as the Billboard 200.
After that, it was nominated for Album of the Year at the ACM Awards and it won the Album of the Year title at the CMA Awards.
4. The Outsiders
Church’s fourth studio album, The Outsiders, was made available in February 2014. It took place not long after he said, “I think genres are dead,” to the annoyance of various journals. Whether he is alive or not, he flirts with a good number of women here.
Out of all his albums, The Outsiders may be his most musically audacious; it takes Church far beyond his comfort zone in a sometimes messy but always interesting way. Regarding reviews, they received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Church, who is described as a “crafty, ambitious songwriter with a sensitive, rueful side,” “made a record that’s weirder, louder, and even more badass,” according to Rolling Stone in their review.
Spin describes it as a strange assertion of authority and assurance from a creative person fully in control of his abilities. Both critics and the general public praised it equally, catapulting it to the top of the Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums charts.
Church’s follow-up album, Carolina, was a smashing hit after his initial album. The extra spit and polish that have been added to the production suit Church’s vocals, bringing a further appeal to outstanding tracks like Smoke a Little Smoke and Longer Gone, even though they miss some of the grit of Sinners Like Me.
Its flawless perfection was, in fact, a brazen attempt at commercial success. And the attempt was successful. The album, which was released in March 2009, propelled Church to positions No. 4 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
On the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it is lead-off single, Love Your Love the Most, earned his first top 10 smashes. The RIAA awarded the album platinum certification in 2016 after it sold over 1 million copies.
6. Desperate Man
In 2018, American country music performer Eric Church released his sixth studio album, “Desperate Man.” The album includes popular singles including the first single “Desperate Man” and the singles “Some of It,” both of which reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
The album was recorded in Church’s North Carolina home studio and was produced by Church and longtime partner Jay Joyce. The album has a raw, genuine tone that appeals to both fans and critics thanks to the DIY method used in its production.
Overall, “Desperate Man” is a strong and personal album that highlights Church’s musical prowess and his capacity to capture the mood of the moment. This CD is a standout in Church’s excellent discography and a requirement for any fan of contemporary country music.
7. Heart & Soul
Double albums are infamously challenging. On the other hand, triple LPs elevate tricky to a whole new level. However, Church managed to pull it off for his album Heart & Soul in 2021.
The album was conceived and composed during a month-long trip Church took into the mountains of North Carolina during the height of the pandemic. It was released over three separate albums.
A “special, special project that I think will be among our best,” he has since called it. Heart and Soul both achieved success, peaking at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively, on the Top Country Albums list. Even though his appearance was restricted to his fan club, & he managed to show up.