Top critical review
Craft over substance
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2020
I am no doubt going to get negative replies to the 3 star rating, but this album shows Jason & Co as master musicians who showcase musical ability of the highest order, to no great effect . I know Jason has stated he can look back & now write songs that he couldn't when he was younger, but the younger Jason also displayed a remarkable ability to kick ass. Where's the primal GRUNT here? There is none. Where is the emotional range of his vocal delivery? Its lacking. Why is Jimbo Hart, who is outstanding on bass, relegated to a purely backup role? Guess its Jason's band. Why are Amanda's vocals so low in the mix? I can't hazard a guess. This is unfortunately the 1st Isbell album that is quite simply bland, easy listening stuff. That said, I would suggest EVERYONE downloads the opening track What've I Done which is transcendent & defies categorization...here he has created a new genre. Pity the rest of the songs didn't stack up.
BTW: In case I missed the point of this album, I put on his Live From The Ryman, a 'big hits' of his previous three best selling albums, & all was back in place. Maybe Jason & Co need a live audience to test drive songs?
Well, I'll still be buying Isbell, because he is one of the few true originals around! And dude, please lay down some more of your slide playing now & then. Along with ex-Stone Mick Taylor & cult figure Warren Haynes, you play the most melodic slide guitar out there!