Written by John Osborne, TJ Osborne, and Andrew DeRoberts
The long: Fundamentally, I like Brothers Osborne. Brothers TJ and John Osborne provide an interesting southern-rock-meets-blues edge to their brand of country music, and both members have been outspoken on important issues facing country music, including gender inequality at radio and a lack of substance in mainstream country music in general. Plus, they once dethroned Florida Georgia Line as the industry favorite duo in Nashville (at least judging by award shows) … until they were dethroned by Dan + Shay, that is.
As for their actual music, though, I’ve only been somewhat impressed; mostly due to a lack of greater consistency. I’ll forever be confused as to how the funky “Shoot Me Straight” led to a flighty beach-inspired album in 2018, for example.
As for new single (and presumed lead single to their unannounced third studio album) “All Night,” it scans as little more than a rehash of “It Ain’t My Fault,” lacking the swagger and gravitas of that track. Both are party songs dressed up differently, and here there’s a meatier electric guitar groove than one would expect from a mainstream country single in 2020; but it’s surprisingly underweight for this duo’s usual standards. They usually know their way around a hook, but not here. Plus, whereas TJ imbued his performance on “It Ain’t My Fault” with a menacing growl that worked for that song’s sentiment, he’s reliant more on a carefree attitude here, and doesn’t have the charisma to make it work.
Lyrically, “All Night” joins other recent mainstream country airplay singles like “No I In Beer” and “Champagne Night” as being a nihilistic, upbeat party track – because, you know, the current situation calls for it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the “I got X if you got Y” lyrical formula grows stale very quickly, and when it’s not stale, it’s made worse with lines like, “I got the rebel if you got the yell.” Oof.
The short: “It Ain’t My Fault” > “All Night”