Something More Than Free

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2015 Ratings: #35 / 770
Year End Rank: #35
User Score
Based on 71 ratings
2015 Ratings: #118
July 17, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Southeastern / Label
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jasonisbell.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Entertainment Weekly
His latest sounds happier, and it’s still steeped in the Southern mythology that’s his forte.
91
A.V. Club

Isbell’s lyrics on Southeastern sharpened to a poignancy that he’d mostly hinted at before, and though Something More Than Free may not repeat Isbell’s album-of-the-year accolades, it continues the magic of that breakthrough LP.

90
Exclaim!

Still walking the high wire, with Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell continues his streak of genre-defining masterworks.

90
Uncut

Something More Than Free finds Isbell sounding surer of himself, as a songwriter and a man.

86
Paste

Isbell’s increasing skill as a storyteller, and the natural affinity he has for melody, combine to make Something More Than Free a masterful piece of work.

83
Consequence of Sound

Navigating between crestfallen country ballads and rollicking rockers, Something More Than Free showcases Isbell’s musical diversity without sacrificing a pinch of lyrical precision.

80
AllMusic

Something More Than Free makes clear Southeastern was no fluke; the insights Isbell gained as a songwriter are just as evident on these 11 songs, and as a performer he's attained a nuanced maturity that demonstrates how far he's come since his days with the Drive-By Truckers.

80
American Songwriter

He’s followed up one masterpiece of an album, 2013’s Southeastern, with a new one that is probably stronger top-to-bottom.

80
PopMatters

What Something More Than Free does best is confirm that Isbell is a rare talent, one who doesn’t need a major life event to inspire him to make great music.

80
The Line of Best Fit
That in-the-room immediacy is apparent throughout, not just in the album’s distinct sense of continuity, but in its ventures into unexpected sonic territory.
80
Rolling Stone
It's a master class in songwriting from an artist who's never sounded more confident.
80
Billboard
This is country music that knows its country music.
80
FasterLouder

This is the sound of a songwriter and noted storyteller coming full circle.

75
Under The Radar

At once profoundly intimate and universally true, these songs of hardship, love, and dignity resonate with the man's soul.

70
Slant Magazine

Something More Than Free, retains Southeastern's intimate acoustic-based feel and heavyhearted lyrical matter, but it's even more smooth-edged and lacks the emotional gut-punches of its predecessor.

70
Spin
Its stakes are a little lower, and he’s no longer revealing grand truths about life, but documenting once-dire realities from a rosier lens is still a worthwhile undertaking.
58
Pitchfork

Isbell is obviously familiar with the music of the region, yet Something More Than Free sounds nondescript and—worse—placeless.

Jun 22, 2017
81
Jason Isbell set such a high bar for himself on Southeastern that it’s easy for fans to pick out a few songs on Something More Than Free that don’t quite meet this high bar of songwriting and label the album as disappointing. But doing so ignores the fact that Isbell is still very much on his game here, crafting some of the best melodies of his career and producing one potent line after another. Strong production vitalizes the songs just as much as Isbell’s lyrics and ... read more
Oct 10, 2015
NonkelHans
80
I still have to get to terms with this album. Like th eman though.
Aug 18, 2015
tha138
63
A secure shelter for country lovers where most of what's happening is personally checked by Jason.
Jul 20, 2015
Aoaystheory
79
“Something More Than Free” is simply great country music, maybe too simple, but not enough to ruin its appeal.
Jul 17, 2015
ShinerBock29
86
This album is quite a step backwards from his 2013 Southeastern album, but as a stand-alone album, it is still very good. Not a weak song on this album. It just has a very large shadow to crawl out of. His 2013 album was one of the best albums of the last 10 years.
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Added on: April 16, 2015