Album Review – Brantley Gilbert’s ‘The Devil Don’t Sleep’


Keep in mind Brantley Gilbert’s last album wasn’t terrible. In fact it was actually quite decent. I had multiple nice things to say about Just As I Am, despite some bad singles. When Gilbert tries he can make good music, but this new album doesn’t really feature Gilbert trying. It instead features Gilbert at his absolute worst and indulging in his worst tendencies. First it must be stated that The Devil Don’t Sleep is not a country album. No, this is straight up butt rock for the most part. Click on the definition I’ve linked and tell me it isn’t the perfect description of this album. Gilbert has never really wanted to be a country artist, but rather a rocker. This has always been his targeted fan base and he targets them well with this album. Of course I hate butt rock, as do most people. Now you might say I’m being overly harsh and outright mean, even before I get into the album. But this thing is 16 songs long and I had a headache before even getting halfway through. Needless to say I did not have a pleasant experience listening to this album. I guess I should start with what songs I liked on this album because it’s quite brief.

The album’s opening song “Rockin’ Chairs” is without a doubt one of the best of the album because it isn’t the same old recycled butt rock clichés that plague this album. The song is about living it up while also striving to live to the day you can sit back in a rocking chair to reminisce about those days. It’s a somewhat mature outlook on living the party life. It also features some nice acoustic guitar play to open the song and Gilbert’s vocals are used to the best of their abilities. The album’s final song “Three Feet of Water” is a quiet piano ballad that actually has something to say. The song is about seeking forgiveness from a life of wrongdoing and sees some actual emotion from Gilbert. The instrumentation is well arranged and frames the lyrics appropriately. It’s a shame that the album’s one good song is buried beneath so much crap, but I do applaud Gilbert for managing to produce one song I actually like on this record.

Now let’s get to the bad. The lead single of the album “The Weekend” somehow annoys me even more than it originally did. The lyrics are just so stupid and vapid that I want to rip my hair out in anger out of the sheer lack of intelligence on display. Casual misogyny fuels the fire of “You Could Be That Girl.” We get the disgusting line from Gilbert of “you know how to hit your knees” to the girl he sees as his one. This quickly followed by a clarification of a girl who will pray for him, but I’m not an idiot. This is an intended double entendre that you the listener is supposed to find clever and funny. “Bullet in a Bonfire” had a very small chance of being a compelling song about abuse, but instead the moral of the song is solving violence with more violence. But oh it gets much worse with “Bro Code.” This might be Gilbert’s worst song ever. The IQ level of this song is a Tapout shirt wearing frat bro shot gunning Monster energy drinks as he jerks off to underground MMA videos. The word bro gets said so many times and the sneering attitude of Gilbert as he and some random bro treat a woman like a piece of meat make for the ultimate douchebag anthem. You truly have to hear this masterpiece of asshattery yourself to understand it’s awfulness.

The rest of the album for the most part is split between songs with obnoxiously loud guitars interrupted by the grunting vocals of Gilbert and really sleepy ballads with no teeth and creativity. Gilbert’s vocals range from Cookie Monster gargling sandpaper to bored droning. The lyrics for the majority of the songs on this album are the most predictably tripe, faux outlaw tough guy word associations that many have come to expect from Gilbert on his worst material (by the way Gilbert wrote or co-wrote every song). Outside of a few songs, Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep is at best a huge waste of time. At worst it’s butt rock at it’s most butt rock. I didn’t think I would hear one of the worst country albums of 2017 by the end of January, but I’ll be highly surprised if The Devil Don’t Sleep isn’t a contender for Country Perspective’s Worst Album of 2017 award. It’s that damn awful.

Grade: 2/10


Recommend? – No No No No No No

Album Highlights: Three Feet of Water, Rockin’ Chairs

Wallpaper: The Ones That Like Me

Horrendous Songs: Bro Code, The Weekend, You Could Be That Girl, Bullet in a Bonfire

Bad Songs: The rest of this album

12 thoughts on “Album Review – Brantley Gilbert’s ‘The Devil Don’t Sleep’

  1. Raymond February 6, 2017 / 11:11 am

    If “Bro Code” gets released as a single that will probably go down as my lease favorite single and we are only into January.

    When Brantley Gilbert tries he can produce gems like “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “More Than Mile”. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to care. At least Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt is scheduled for a new album so Brantley Gilbert should have some competition for Worst.

    Hey Josh are you going to eventually review Seth Ennis debut single “Woke Up In Nashville” it has a decent amount of buzz for a new single?


    • Josh Schott February 6, 2017 / 11:29 am

      Eventually perhaps. There’s other things I want to cover before I get to it.


  2. Amanda February 6, 2017 / 11:32 am

    Great review Josh! And a hilarious one at that. 🙂 Insightful reveiws and features like this is what makes Country Perspective my favorite blog to visit. Out of curiosity, I listened to the album, and holy hopping sheep shit, it was awful. I can’t believe I paused Patty Loveless to listen to this. Three Feet of Water was alright, and I thought We’re Gonna Ride Again was alright, Rockin’ Chairs was mediocre, and the rest of the album was gawd-awful. The Devil Don’t Sleep is extremely creepy sounding, sorta like the music that you would hear entering the front gates of hell. I seriously thought The Ones Who Like Me was super whiny and immature, but that’s just me. If he (or any guy, for that matter) were to sing You Could Be That Girl or Tried to Tell Ya to me, I would knock him out, not even joking. It’s About to Get Dirty was hilariously awful. I laughed out loud at that one. It’s About to Get Dirty is just about one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I have heard in my entire 20 years on earth. And Bro Code. Bro Code is one of the worst songs I have ever heard. Seriously. I would rather listen to Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell and Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line than this. And when you’d rather listen to those turds, you know something is bad. If Brantley releases this stinking heap of dog shit as a single, it will definitely pass Sam Hunt’s monstrosity “Body Like a Back Road” as my personal worst single of 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadia Lockheart February 6, 2017 / 11:55 am

    What I cannot comprehend is how numerous critics have been heralding this album as Gilbert’s departure away from bro-country. Even the respected Stephen Erlewine of AllMusic characterized “The Devil Don’t Sleep” that way.



    1: Brantley Gilbert DID attempt to wander beyond bro-country tropes throughout half of his previous album.

    2: Much of “BG Nation” widely expressed displeasure with how too much of the album was slow and softer; lamenting the lack of rawkers in their view.

    3: With Gilbert taking “BG Nation” and its disappointment personally, he chose to double-down on the formula that made him a cult favorite in the first place.


    I wonder how many professional mainstream critics, then, would define “bro-country”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lorenzofloris96 February 6, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Josh please, do not link this fucking asshole’s youtube music videos because you’re giving him views.
    Also, I absolutely loved your definition of this music: butt rock. Man that’s the greatest definition I ever heard for this lame low class garbage. The Weekend is absolutely the worst song on country radio and Gilbert doesn’t want to record anything but bro country.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OlaR February 6, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    Fake voice, the oh-so-tough-bad-boy microphone, (un-)forgettable bad songs & the new album is more of the same. There is not one enjoyable track. (0/10)

    New Album: James Blundell – Campfire – 10 Tracks – Red Rebel Music/Revenge Records – Released (02/03)
    Remember James Blundell? Australian country singer with a short career in Nashville (Capitol Nashville in the early `90’s)? He won awards, sold records like no other country singer down under (a couple of platinum records), went bankrupt, became a politician & a musical star…
    Campfire is an album filled with duets & cover versions. First single is “Money Changes Everything” (the Cyndi Lauper hit). It’s one of two duets with Bec Lavelle. “Money…” went to #10 two weeks ago (Country Tracks Top 40 Australia). All tracks are acoustic recordings. Other duet partners are Tania Kernaghan, The Wolfe Brothers & Paul Costa. “Blowin’ In The Wind” features Anne Kirkpatrick, Liam Kennedy-Clark & Abigail Grace.
    My highlights: “True Blue” with Tania Kernaghan, “Take It Easy” with Bec Lavelle, “6th Avenue Heartache” with Jonny Taylor & “Forty Miles To Saturday Night” with Cameron Daddo. Unsual but good album (8/10)


  6. countryopinionblog February 6, 2017 / 3:14 pm

    Yikes ! I made it through one minute of that. I hope I didn’t catch some disease by osmosis.


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