Single Review: Zac Brown Band, “Keep Me in Mind”

This band is too good.

No, really – I think they might actually be too tight, too perfected. At least on record. That could be a bizarre complaint, but then, it’s also bizarre hearing a jam-band track that sounds this rehearsed.

As a composition, “Keep Me in Mind” offers some cool musical changes to pad out its slight theme. But the band moves through everything so smoothly that that padding also starts to seem slight. Even when they transition into a Luther-Vandross-R&B groove – audacious on paper – they do it with so little drama that you hardly notice it.

After a pleasant opening, the record starts to fade into the wallpaper, like a party guest whose presence you can take or leave and probably won’t remember either way. I’ll go for a less varnished live version if one comes out; for now, sounds like they’re all checking their watches.

Written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette and Nic Cowen

Grade: B-

Listen: Keep Me In Mind


  1. I could pretty much listen to ZBB on loop all day and be happy. Just love their music and their sound.

    And while I like this song, it wouldn’t have been my choice for a single either. I thought “Let it Go” was a no brainer single choice, especially for the summer, but “Knee Deep” got the nod there, and now “Keep Me In Mind”…

    I’d still like to see “Let it Go” get its due. But there were just so many good songs on “You Get What You Give” that it’s inevitable a few would be left out before they had to move on to the next project. As much as some people would like artists to release 6-7 songs as singles from one album, that just doesn’t seem to be the trend anymore.

  2. …even though your thoughts on this track are spot on, dan, it’s further proof of the superb talent that this band is full of. starting the year in colder weather and reminding us at the end of it in perfect style, not to forget about them – perhaps, at the next awards occasion – just shows how far they’ve come since their ode to fried fowl.

    these days, country seems to come in all shapes and sizes – so why not in xxxl quality with a tea cosy on top of it.

  3. So you’d rather have “Who Knows” released, Dan? Is THAT what you want? ;)

    I do understand where you’re coming from with regards to this feeling over-rehearsed. It does strike me a bit more as a testament to how far they can wander outside the typical Nashville corral and still get away with chart domination than an ambitious work of art. Lyrically, it’s also too familiar. Still, I appreciate it for what it is overall.


    What I find most fascinating about the success, and rapid ascent, of this single is that this is the band’s first single to sound decidedly more Adult Alternative-destined than country radio destined. We’ve already seen a possible trend toward the Adult Alternation, as I like to term it, of Country radio as of late by means of Jerrod Niemann, a couple of Kenny Chesney hits this past year (“Somewhere With You”, “You & Tequila”), Miranda Lambert and the Zac Brown Band’s own “Free” and “Colder Weather”, to name a few examples.

    And not only that, but this appears to be shaping up to be the band’s longest-running #1 to date, given how tepid the competition is between the Zac Brown Band and Eric Church/Luke Bryan on the current radio chart.

    I wonder if the breakout success of this song will encourage more established Country stars and aspiring country up-and-comers to go-Phishing, so to speak. This sounds closer to Phish than it does to the Charlie Daniels Band if anything, and if this were to spend a month at #1, or even three weeks at #1, I would like to think it might inspire more jam-band sensibilities to cross over onto the mainstream Nashville circuit.

  4. I think it’s cool to be honest. I like that there are quite a few different sounds that are doing well these days from the pop of Taylor Swift and Lady A, to the more hard edged stuff of Aldean and Eric Church, ZBB’s normally jammy thing, to this, a more 70’s yacht rock inspired tune. They aren’t breaking any new ground on this one, but when a ZBB song comes on, you always know who it is and there’s something to be said for that.

  5. The “R&B” sound at the end sounds so much like part of an Alabama song that it is driving me crazy trying to figure out which song. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

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