The Nashville Sound
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Vinyl, Import, 16 June 2017
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- Product Dimensions : 32.26 x 31.24 x 1.02 cm; 408.23 Grams
- Manufacturer : X6SEF
- Item Model Number : SER99881
- Original Release Date : 2017
- Label : X6SEF
- ASIN : B06XR5VR55
- Number of discs : 1
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The Nashville Sound is the follow up to 2015's critically acclaimed Something More Than Free, which won two Grammy Awards (Best Americana Album & Best American Roots Song, 24 Frames) and two Americana Music Association Awards (Album of the Year & Song of the Year, 24 Frames).
Without exaggeration, Jason Isbell has become one of the most respected and celebrated songwriters of his generation. He possesses an incredible penchant for identifying and articulation some of the deepest, yet simplest, human emotions, and turning them into beautiful poetry though song. Isbell sings of the everyday human condition with thoughtful, heartfelt, and sometimes brutal honesty, and the new album is no exception.
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Top review from Australia
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As for the album it was good quality (180g) vinyl with a good dust jacket & flat as a pancake.
1/2/18 Changed my mind. This is quality song writing & musicianship & I wholeheartedly recommend this album both musically & for the quality of the pressing.
Top reviews from other countries
The opener, Last Of My Kind, sees Isbell in folky, reflective mood. He grinds through all of the gears after that into the rocking Cumberland Gap, and then shifts down a touch for the country flavoured Tupelo.
Isbell’s songs in the past have touched me deeply, but none probably as the fourth track, White Man’s World. PBS’s review made much of the words themselves, depicting them as a realisation of unwitting culpability in the perpetuation of racism and sexism. The words are complemented to the point of intensification by the music, both the bluesy riffs and, as a bitingly poignant enhancement, by Amanda Shires’s fiddle. Since I first heard her playing I have been a shameless admirer, but her playing here seals it for me, going beyond anything she’s done before in terms of emotional edge. PBS’s view that this song marks Isbell’s entry into political comment is not quite right, though. His earlier song TVA, for example, praises Keynesian-style state intervention, and in Dress Blues he sneered at Hollywood wars.
A couple of tracks on is Anxiety. When I reviewed Isbell’s previous album, Something More Than Free, I wondered if he was shifting into prog music with the use of mellotron, and the PBS reviewer noted that shift too on this new track. It also has a rollicking coda reminiscent of that from Decoration Day back in Isbell’s time with DBT. The one that follows, Molotov, is an admission that he’s forsaken his wilder days, and he wonders if he still retains any of the excitement of the past (I’d say yes). There are a couple of great lyrics in this one, once where he rhymes “three wishes” with “facetious”, the other where he confesses to breaking a promise to himself to “ride the throttle till the wheels came off”.
Something To Love is the perfect finale, folky, gentle and one of the best expressions of “Best Wishes” you could hope for.
Looking forward to the Roundhouse in October!
Last Of My Kind and Tupelo are the standout tracks, and being at the beginning, it seems as if the album struggles in the latter half.
It's a good enough album, but there are no tracks like Children Of Children that make you stop what you are doing, find a place to play it five times over before reaching for the whiskey bottle and diving into other country baggage, only to emerge the next day to find the dinner you were cooking yesterday is still half prepared on the chopping board in the kitchen. There are none of those songs here, but maybe next time there will be.
Good to hear that Jason has also pushed both the fiddle & vox of his wife Amanda more prominently into the production mix, as I'm sure that works best, not only on a personal basis, but also on the basis of the finished recordings. They sound great.
Don't get hung up about this album if 'country twang' is not your thing; this album most certainly does not pigeonhole itself roundly within that musical genre stereotype.
Go check it out, then sit back & enjoy it for what it is; a great hand-crafted record.