- The Nashville Sound

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
CRITIC SCORE
78
Based on 14 reviews
2017 Rank: #110 / 399
USER SCORE
80
Based on
19 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Paste

Through matter-of-fact lyrical acuity, Isbell peels back layers of cultural abstraction to reveal the grit of the human experience on The Nashville Sound, and renders it much more inclusive than the title’s regional attribution might make it seem.

90
God Is in the TV

Once again, we laugh, we cry, our hearts are warmed and our minds transported, sometimes to a better world, and other times to places altogether bleaker. Regardless of which destination we arrive at, The Nashville Sound is the work of a classic artist in one of the most prolonged purple patches in any musician’s career. Truly spellbinding.

90
American Songwriter

The Nashville Sound is another triumph in his incredible hot streak.

83
A.V. Club
The result is Isbell’s most topical and far-reaching album yet, but one that’s also suffused with hope.
80
Slant Magazine

The album is more eclectic and energetic than his other recent efforts, which have seen Isbell’s voice and vitality as a songwriter crystallize just as his sound, for better or worse, has become slicker and more uniform.

80
Exclaim!

Perhaps it's unfair ... to hold Isbell to his own lofty standards. Compared to those of his contemporaries, these songs are still miles ahead, particularly album highlight "If We Were Vampires."

80
The Independent
There’s nothing particularly Nashville about Jason Isbell’s new album – no cowboy hats or keening steel guitars – but it does possess, in spades, the kind of blue-collar concerns that have traditionally furnished country music’s backbone.
80
Mojo
He couches his anxieties in simple but poetic language as his band find the sweet spot between country and rock.
80
AllMusic

Isbell was already a gifted artist when he first gained public visibility with the Drive-By Truckers, but The Nashville Sound finds him growing from strength to strength, and it reaffirms his place as one of the best and most emotionally affecting artists working in roots music today.

80
PopMatters
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s first album together in five years is an enjoyable ride through his career and the life he has lived. It’s a deeply personal and often autobiographical album that cuts right on the things Isbell, the band, and his family, confront in the world.
77
GIGsoup
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have undoubtedly produced an album that ought to captivate audiences regardless of their background. Moreover, ‘The Nashville Sound’ will perhaps serve as a blueprint for how American folk music can raise consciousness in moving beyond mere entertainment.
70
Rolling Stone
After spending the last five years reckoning with past darkness, Isbell, 38, shifts his gaze outward.
63
Pitchfork

The Nashville Sound, Isbell and the 400 Unit’s full-band follow-up, is, in many ways, a step backward.

60
The Skinny

Isbell sings as if there's a new weight of responsibility on his shoulders, which doesn't necessarily add up to his best material. The Nashville Sound isn't a bad record by any estimation, but there are flat moments.

Jul 2, 2017
PJ_0707
61
I didn't know the Nashville sound was so dull. I really doubt it is, but Jason Isbell's version of it is a different story. The album just sounds like a bad mixture of what someone would expect a country album to sound like. You have your ballads and rockers with some twangy acoustic tracks thrown in there. His lyrics are a bit bland. I really don't know what White Man's World was supposed to do for anybody, but its definitely the weakest thing here, points for trying to be relevant? ... read more
Jun 19, 2017
80
One Word Review: Core
Jun 16, 2017
85
This is the best written album of the year and the best country album released in 2017. Isbell sheds light on difficult topics from the center of the storm and leaves listeners with something substantial to contemplate afterwards. Lyrics are the most important aspect of music to me therefore - the score. I can see those who value instrumentation feeling less excited - nevertheless this is an excellent body of work worthy of contemplation.
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June 16, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Southeastern / Label
Tags
MISC LISTS
# 36 - Stereogum (First Half)
Track List
  1. Last of My Kind
  2. Cumberland Gap
  3. Tupelo
  4. White Man's World
  5. If We Were Vampires
  6. Anxiety
  7. Molotov
  8. Chaos and Clothes
  9. Hope the High Road
  10. Something to Love
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, Novell_sx


Added on: March 13, 2017