Jake Owen
American Love
Sony

From its relaxed sun-soaked vibe to its hippyish cover, the fifth album from chiselled contemporary country star Jake Owen floats in on so much happy-go-lucky breeziness, it makes mellow Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson sound like a hot-tempered ball of fury. The former professional golfer’s follow up to 2013’s Days of Gold tempers its chilled positivity with a slow-burning melancholy. Considering that Owen’s marriage broke down before they were recorded, these 11 tracks glow with a surprising optimism. The title track kicks off the funky, care-free groove with a dancing horn section and a catchy chorus telling a tale of young summer love, while the soulful Good Company celebrates the simple joy of relaxing with good friends. Despite all this sun-drenched positivity, there’s still room for the introspective and heart-wrenching piano ballad When You Love Someone, revealing Owen at his most personal, but with more celebrations of life (Everybody Dies Young) and unbridled freedom (VW Van), American Love is a soundtrack for the brightest of days.