My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #20

Number 20

It was with the stunning and ambitious double-concept album, Southern Rock Opera, that Drive-By Truckers officially broke through onto the music scene, some five years after first forming in 1996. Since that time, they have gained and kept a growing reputation for creating genuine southern country rock. Their newest record, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, is as equally sprawling an effort as the aforementioned double-concept from 2001, journeying through nineteen tracks that total nearly 80 minutes, all of it with feeling. Rotating through many members in their twelve years as a band to this point, this is the first album recorded after the loss of significant staple, Jason Isbell, who went on to perform as a solo act. This time around, they seem to be more into the thought of sharing vocal duties than ever before, creating an alum that is constantly shifting voices. The whole experience is emotionally rewarding, which is what you’d expect from a seasoned band like this; but you can only get the full satisfaction from it all if you listen from front to back, at least for the first time. “Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife” is such a fantastic opening number, that it managed to still be one of the most memorable songs even after it’s all said and done, the road fully traveled. I’ve never been less than impressed with Drive-By Truckers since first hearing them a few years back, and although I still think The Dirty South is still my favorite record from them, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark frequently sounds like a band at the height of their unison, making resilience their mission and always nailing it. “Daddy Needs A Drink” and “The Man I Shot” are two of the most heart-wrenching songs I’ve heard all year, and the brilliant “The Home Front” never ceases to amaze more and more with each play. To even the most experienced and dedicated of Drive-By Truckers fans, this one will exceed even the highest of expectations. Buckle up for a good and long road trip for the ears.

1.2 Daughters And A Beautiful Wife
2.3 Dimes Down
3.The Righteous Path
4.I’m Sorry Houston
5.Perfect Timing
6.Daddy Needs A Drink
7.Self-Destructive Zones
8.Bob
9.Home Field Advantage
10.The Opening Act
11.Lisa’s Birthday
12.The Man I Shot
13.The Purgatory Line
14.The Home Front
15.Checkout Time in Vegas
16.You and Your Crystal Meth
17.Goode’s Field Road
18.A Ghost To Most
19.Monument Valley

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4 Responses to “My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #20”

  1. Bob Bland Says:

    Very good album (#11 on my list) made even better when seen live. Sadly, I saw them when Shooter Jennings was still opening, before they did that tour with The Hold Steady.

  2. Ferguson Says:

    One of my favorite records from them.

    At least you got to see them at all…I missed out on a show nearby with The Hold Steady about a month ago. What a mistake on my part.

  3. Elissa Says:

    I’ve heard some really fantastic things about this band, though when I listened to them I never really liked this. Note: this was a few years ago. I probably should give them a second chance one day.

    I also wanted to know if you are doing the Fergy Film Awards for 2008. I’m curious to see what made the list.

  4. Ferguson Says:

    I think this band is deserving of a second chance, especially from you, because I think you would like them.

    I am definitely compiling the Fergy Film Awards, but they won’t be complete until later in January, because all of the films I need to see won’t be fully released until mid-way through that month. It’s looking competitive this year…tough choices everywhere.

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