'Man Against Machine' was released today (November 11th 2014).
It's been a good thirteen years now, but Garth Brooks has finally returned to his country ways with his ninth studio album. The star has never failed to land a Platinum certification on an album, but could 'Man Against Machine' change things?
'Man Against Machine' is out now
It certainly seems that critics are less enchanted by Garth Brooks' return than they thought they would be. Brooks' hiatus had nothing to do with a waning career; on the contrary, he left on the back of 2001's US Billboard and US Country number one 'Scarecrow'. But it seems country music has changed a lot since then and he seems to have picked up where he left off.
'It's troubling that Brooks just doesn't seem to be having fun', A.V. Club mused in their review of the record, while the New York Times insisted that it 'is defiantly behind the times'. Nonetheless, it is still agreed that he has produced an album that is once again solely Garth Brooks - and thus rather difficult to compare to anything else, the latter suggesting: 'He is beholden to no one place or style, an upsetter of norms before, and an upsetter of norms now.'
While 'Man Against Machines' marks his first original album in some time, it's hardly the spectacular return that was promised at the beginning of his retirement, when he insisted he wouldn't be back until 2015. Only four years later did he decide to perform again for charitable causes, and over the next six years did he release two boxed sets which included new material. He continued to perform various dates on and off before announcing his world tour earlier this year.
Even if his album doesn't get the response he was hoping for, the tour has definitely become a hit judging by recent stories. At a show in Minneapolis, he stopped the concert in response to a seeing a sign from a cancer patient who had just completed chemotherapy earlier that day. He responded to her touching message by giving her his guitar. Say what you like about Garth Brooks, but he always knows how to bring a tear to the eye.
'Man Against Machine' is out now.