Thursday, February 7, 2008
CD Review: "Brighter Than Creations Dark" - Drive-By Truckers
I am only a casual fan of the Drive-By Truckers. I have never seen them live, and I had downloaded one of their previous releases (Southern Rock Opera). They always struck me a "hick-rockers," and I don't mean that in a bad way. Kinda like Lynyrd Skynyrd, but with a little more pedal steel guitar. Their latest release is their first since former primary songwriter Jason Isbell left the band last year. It is a bit long, with 19 tracks, but it holds together rather well. The first song (Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife) is simply beautiful. In fact, it was the reason I decided to seek out the CD, having heard the track on a local independent radio station. In my humble opinion, the weakest tracks are the ones that are sung by the lone female in the group, Shonna Tucker. And by "weakest," I mean that they are still good songs, but not up to the same standard as some of the others (Bob, Perfect Timing, Daddy Needs a Drink, The Man I Shot, Self Destructive Zones). There is a certain "hominess" to this CD, and the songs are very well written. The song lyrics remind me of some stuff by the Old 97s and The Gourds (in addition to lots of typical country songs), in that they deal with "troubles" of one kind or another (drinking, meth, women, cheatin' spouses, etc.). The tempo varies throughout the CD, going from slow ballads, to mid-tempo rockers, to fast hard rocking songs. I have listened to it three or four times already, and I have not tired of it yet. I hear something new each time. Since I am by no means an expert on the Truckers, I have to trust the opinions of many others who say that this is their best album yet. I don't know about that, but I think this is an excellent CD, and will probably be on my "best of 2008" list at the end of the year.