Preview: Eric Church at Nationwide Arena

From the April 26, 2012 edition

Please welcome country music’s new poet laureate. Let’s examine some of the many gems on Eric Church’s “Chief.”

On alcohol-fueled empowerment: “You be my Lois Lane, I’ll be your Superman/ All you got to do is put a drink in my hand.” On true love: “She believes in me like she believes her Bible/ And loves me like Jesus does.” On engagement: “She got a rock/ I’m gettin’ stoned.” On a country boy who cut ties with his kin and embraced hip-hop: “Homeboy/ Come on home, boy.”

It’s the kind of brash, ballsy Americana most country stars only think they’re espousing, as clever in deploying the usual imagery as it is stubborn in sticking to the conflicted values underneath. It’s going to sound great inside Nationwide Arena.