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Very open lyrics complement the soft Nashville sound of this album.
Live Oak is a classic vulnerable song that makes you stop and listen.
I bit of lead guitar livens it up but not too much, just a few low riffs.
Shame there is one blatant use of f****** in song 4 because it prevent general open play around the house. But there again he was singing about someone dying of Cancer so I suppose that deserves a big fat f*******
Just when I start to think I’ve heard it all, along comes a songwriter to remind me that there is still great new music being made. I saw Jason Isbell (ex-Drive by Truckers) on Austin City Limits recently and was really impressed so I picked up his new album “Southeastern”. From the lonely man looking for someone to share his journey in “Travelling Alone” to another watching his wife die of cancer in “Elephant”, Isbell writes about hope and heartbreak as well as anybody I’ve ever heard. He’s also an excellent guitarist and affecting singer who can break your heart at the turn of a phrase. Roger Daltrey says that great singers make you “feel” and Jason Isbell makes me feel every song he sings.
(Also check out his previous album “Live from Alabama”. He does songs from his days with the Truckers, songs from his solo albums as well as a couple of covers including a blistering version of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane”.)
Southeastern is a very strong Americana-record. The high quality already erupts in the soft, slow and tender accoustic openingsong 'Cover me up'. The openingchords will immediately take your attention with both hands. Strong lyrics about putting himself up again, love, cancer disease (Elephant: 'no one dies with dignity') and childabuse (Yvette) are there, packed in different kind of low profile accoustic gems. `I've heard love songs make a Georgia man cry' in the uptempo `Stockholm'. We know it is true, but most man won't admit it! On previous records and on the DbT-records Isbell wrote good rocking songs. On Southeastern it happens that the rocking 'Super 8' does not fit very well with the other ones.
Most likely after the first time listening you won't be that much impressed by the record. Some even would consider the words 'a little bit boring'. Then, give the record some time and listen to it with the volume a litte bit louder in an environment without distraction. Then let the record overtake you. Southeastern is one of those records whose appreciation and acceptance will grow after each time of playing the record.
Final words in album's last song 'Relatively easy': "I shoud say, I keep your picture with me every day The evenings now are relatively easy And here with you there's always something to look forward to My lonely heart beats relatively easy"