ALBUM REVIEW: Jason Isbell, Southeastern
No intro is needed for the new Jason Isbell record, Southeastern.  It’s a masterful tapestry of heartwrenchingly personal and deeply felt music that will simultaneously bring you to your knees and your feet.
Isbell has never been one to pull any punches, known for bringing listeners catharsis through what can be desperately sad lyrical fare. ‘Elephant’ is the tale of a woman grappling with the loneliness of cancer, and ‘Cover Me Up’ is an ironically sobering way to open up a record. Slow, quiet, and deeply personal, Isbell sings of his struggles with alcohol (as he does on ‘New South Wales’, in which the desperation for a drink ends with a Listerine bottle). But he also sings of the redemption he’s found in his new wife, Amanda Shires, who plays and sings on the record. In fact, Isbell sings many a line about her. “I’ve grown tired of traveling alone / I want you right with me” he pines on ‘Traveling Alone’. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure what ‘Songs That She Sang in the Shower’ is about. Although he may open the record up with a hard hitter, closer ‘Relatively Easy’ will leave you with an overwhelming sense of hope.
‘Super 8’ and ‘New South Wales’ are about as close to rock as you’ll get here, and DBT fans will probably call them highlights. Isbell seems to have turned his amp off for most of the tunes, giving it a feel of overall introspection.  ‘Live Oak’ has Isbell ponder about “a man who walks beside me / He is who I used to be / And I wonder if she sees him and confuses him with me.” And as you would expect from any good ole southern boy, he winds some religion into his clever wordplay with lines like “Jesus loves a sinner but the highway loves a sin.”
Genres we could slap on this thing include Americana, folk, country, roots rock… but that all fades away when you listen to it. It’s one of those rare emotional albums that transcends labels. If you love music, you’ll love this.
-Kelsey Butterworth

ALBUM REVIEW: Jason Isbell, Southeastern

No intro is needed for the new Jason Isbell record, Southeastern.  It’s a masterful tapestry of heartwrenchingly personal and deeply felt music that will simultaneously bring you to your knees and your feet.

Isbell has never been one to pull any punches, known for bringing listeners catharsis through what can be desperately sad lyrical fare. ‘Elephant’ is the tale of a woman grappling with the loneliness of cancer, and ‘Cover Me Up’ is an ironically sobering way to open up a record. Slow, quiet, and deeply personal, Isbell sings of his struggles with alcohol (as he does on ‘New South Wales’, in which the desperation for a drink ends with a Listerine bottle). But he also sings of the redemption he’s found in his new wife, Amanda Shires, who plays and sings on the record. In fact, Isbell sings many a line about her. “I’ve grown tired of traveling alone / I want you right with me” he pines on ‘Traveling Alone’. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure what ‘Songs That She Sang in the Shower’ is about. Although he may open the record up with a hard hitter, closer ‘Relatively Easy’ will leave you with an overwhelming sense of hope.

‘Super 8’ and ‘New South Wales’ are about as close to rock as you’ll get here, and DBT fans will probably call them highlights. Isbell seems to have turned his amp off for most of the tunes, giving it a feel of overall introspection.  ‘Live Oak’ has Isbell ponder about “a man who walks beside me / He is who I used to be / And I wonder if she sees him and confuses him with me.” And as you would expect from any good ole southern boy, he winds some religion into his clever wordplay with lines like “Jesus loves a sinner but the highway loves a sin.”

Genres we could slap on this thing include Americana, folk, country, roots rock… but that all fades away when you listen to it. It’s one of those rare emotional albums that transcends labels. If you love music, you’ll love this.

-Kelsey Butterworth

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    I would have to agree. I’ve probably listened to this album five times in the past two days, and it’s truly excellent....
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