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I'm one of the many, really many, who never heard of Jason Isbell until they were blown away by Isbell's 2013 album Southeastern. One Amazon reviewer of Southeastern made the comment that everyone is taking the position that Southeastern was a quantum leap from Isbell's previous work and that isn't the case. Isbell's previous records, so said the reviewer, are also outstanding. He recommended getting Hear We Rest, and I did, and he is quite right. If you, like me, have worn out your copy of Southeastern and started to wonder when someone will put out another record that will shake your world as much as Southeastern did, then get Here We Rest. Lots of touching personal stories with somewhat scaled down acoustic settings. Okay maybe it's not quite as powerful as Southeastern but it's outstanding and it's classic Jason Isbell, which is saying a lot.
Jason Isbell is decidedly one of the most talented Americana active singer/songwriters. I first heard his music after chancing upon a Drive-By-Truckers song preloaded on a 2003 Dell computer (that we still have). Starting with his contributions on that album and then following his solo effort- and now with the formalized 400 Unit, he has truly refined his craft to a special level. This album is solid throughout and I will refrain from giving a song by song review, except to say that it is honestly my favorite album of the last 2 years. My wife and I have enjoyed this music enough to drive regionally to Ithaca NY to see their set, flown to New Orleans to see them play, driven to Charlottesville, VA, and are flying this weekend to Atlanta to see their performance. If you like Americana music, or Alt-Country, or Roots Rock, or whatever you choose to call good music that falls between genres, you are missing out if this album is not in your collection. Start here....and work back through his collection of work.
If you liked the last album by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit you should be happy with this one too. More passionate songs with powerful lyrics and the usual nifty guitar arrangements. For some reason, listening to a few songs on this album, I'm reminded ever so slightly of early Jackson Browne, around "Late for the Sky." Vocally, Jason doesn't sound a bit like Jackson, but there is just some sort of vibe or mood that Jason Isbell has captured in these songs that makes me offer that comparison. Whatever the reference point --- Drive-By Truckers or a singer-songwriter from the past --- Jason Isbell is a very talented songwriter in his own right, and I like this new album a lot.
If you're a fan of Jason Isbell, or if you aren't but have been curious, Here We rest is a fantastic album of modern, intelligent country/rock/americana from one of the greatest songwriters ever. I didn't start listening to this amazing artist until about 2017, and he's in my top rotation now. Search his name on youtube for a taste, and then, buy some records!
I have yet to listen to something from Jason Isbell that I don't like. When he was with the Drive By Truckers he made some of their most memerable songs. As a soloist he keeps producing stories set to music. I generally am not a person that listens to lyrics, I like a good beat, but Isbell's songs force me to listen. Each album is like a book of short stories. This is another fantastic record and wonderful stories from the South.
Loved Jason Isbell as a member of the Drive By Truckers, however, since he has gone solo, we get to enjoy his writing and deliverance on every track! I usually listen to the entire album from beginning to end and enjoy every song, but have to confess to stopping at "We've Met" and maybe repeating it three times before going on to the next track...it really grabs me by the heart strings!
Bought this after discovering Isbell's wonderful recent CDs, Southeastern and Something More Than Free. So glad I did. Jason Isbell's gift as a songwriter are already evident on this 2011 issue. Just terrific!