On the basis of its 13 top 10s on the Hot Country Songs chart prior to Jekyll + Hyde, it's tempting to describe the Zac Brown Band as unreconstructed Southern country-rock. That pun on historical Reconstruction is deliberate, given the Georgia-based group's fondness for larding platitudes on faith and patriotism into its deep-fried tributes to romance and laid-back good times. As a wildly popular live unit that routinely sells out stadiums, though, ZBB earns a tag with much more expansive connotations: jam band. Yes, it's one with roots more in Lynyrd Skynyrd?, The Band?, gospel and bluegrass than in Phish or The Dead, but it's just as exploratory and genre-bending in its multi-instrumental workouts. The 2013 EP The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1 hinted at the band's eagerness to break out of its crate even more, even if its encounter with the Foo Fighters leader's production work ultimately amounted to not much more than cranking the drum volume.
Jekyll + Hyde finds ZBB truly reconstructed on record at last, in more ways than one. The album is a good-faith effort to match or even outstrip the band's onstage eclecticism, and the musical personality shifts help relieve the group's tendency to blandness, providing cover for Brown's dutifully generic, if personable voice. Some longer-standing fans, though, might judge the changes as diabolical as the two-faced Robert Louis Stevenson character that lends the album its name.