This seems to be a pretty good combination of his two loves both country and hip hop. Which is something that didn’t come across properly on Trunk Muzik or Radioactive and a little too much on Love Story. Don’t get me wrong Trunk Muzik and Radioactive in my opinion are some of his better albums and I was worried he was going too far away from this sound with Love Story. However Trial By Fire has brought it right back into the mix.
The album starts with a real country feel, as your ears follow Yelawolf and his boys into a bar, and each of the first tracks all start pretty heavily with a country element, but I have always had an appreciation for a good guitar riff or solid drum beat. This time though Yelawolf seems to have stuck by his fast flow and passionate style of spitting his rhymes, something that a lot of people were drawn to when they first heard him.
As the album moves on we can see more of the hip hop Yelawolf taking a bigger presence on each track but with the country vibe underneath every instrumental, for me this album could be better than Trunk Muzik, something I still bump in my car so that is a big statement for me to make.
The career of Yelawolf has had its ups, like blowing up from online message boards and forums to mainstream focus, and its downs, multiple breakdowns on stage and the cancellation of the whole tour as a result, and it is this that makes Trial By Fire a major release and test for the Alabama artist if for nothing else. Here we have an artist that has given everything to get his name out there and kept giving it to remain in the spotlight and achieve all that he can, which naturally doesn’t come without its stresses and downsides.
The success of this album is such an important thing for this artist given the above issues. It really does seem like an attempt to pull the focus back to the music as much for him as it is the fans. He has an impressive ability to story tell through his songs and I have the utmost respect for an artist that sings their own choruses when the song is a heartfelt one, Yela doesn’t disappoint especially in songs like ‘Ride Or Die’.
The two key songs on the album that stood out both have done so for different reasons, ‘Punk’ featuring Travis Barker and Juicy J has that Psycho White feel from when Travis and Yelawolf made their own EP and it was very refreshing to hear that vibe back on some new work. The other song that stood out when I listened to the album the first time was ‘Daylight’ which could take the place of his previous single ‘Til It’s Gone’ as it has a very similar feel to it.
Check out ‘Punk’ below and then head over to wherever you get your music from and give this a play through. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.