81H1rrdzqtL._SL1500_It’s About Time
Hank Williams Jr.

★☆☆☆

Obsessed with his legacy, Bocephus declares himself mentally trapped in 1975, and there’s no arguing that.

 

 

 

 

From the opening notes of “Are You Ready For The Country,” it’s clear that Hank Williams, Jr’.s mission on this album is to cement himself in the pantheon. Considering that he’s Hank Williams Jr, that seems a bit unnecessary; but I suppose when you built your name on Outlaw Country and Southern Rock, the impulse to pretend you’re an outsider sticks around. It’s About Time does his legacy no favors, though: just take “God and Guns,” which reads and sounds like an outside parody of country — and not a particularly good one at that.

When your most compelling track is the six and a half minute “Wrapped Up, Tangled Up in Jesus (God’s Got It),” and is built around a really uncomfortable metaphor of fishing — Jesus got his hooks in Williams, presumably in order to drag him to the surface, suffocate and gut him? — with even more uncomfortably sexual language, you’re doing something wrong.

The mixed messages abound; immediately after Williams, Jr. offers to let the listener “Just Call Me Hank,” he goes on a tirade in “Mental Revenge,” in which he obsesses over the harms that might befall a former intimate partner. Jr.’s happy to let you in on It’s About Time. It’s unfortunate that once inside, all you’re going to hear about is how much he loves to shoot things, gut them, and imagine doing the same. And he’ll be listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and namedropping Merle Haggard the whole time.