Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year in Music #3:
Jason Isbell - Southeastern

Jason Isbell was briefly one of the three main songwriters in the Drive-By Truckers, but just like Mike Cooley, Isbell has never occupied the lofty status in my mind that Patterson Hood does. Until now.

Hood has always been at his best when he's telling a story, and it's Isbell's emergence as a storyteller that has resulted in an album that's as good as the best records in the Truckers' catalog.

There are at least a half dozen gems here, but two of them really stand out. "Elephant" is a tale of one friend's support for another who's dying of cancer, all the while avoiding any discussion of the obvious subject. "Songs That She Sang in the Shower" is the year's second best song about yearning for an ex-lover.

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