Jason Isbell - Southeastern
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2013 Ratings: #20 / 1035
User Score
Based on 98 ratings
2013 Ratings: #45
Liked by 1 person
June 11, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
12th Street / Label
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account. / Website
Sign In to rate and review


A.V. Club

For the first time since his 2007 solo debut, Sirens Of The Ditch, listeners are able to hear an unfiltered representation of this Alabamian prodigy, and the results are so stellar it’s not hyperbole to say that he could be his generation’s answer to Steve Earle.  


It’s the most potent expression to date of Isbell’s talent (including his DBT output) and, hopefully, a harbinger of great things to come.


It’s a poignant, reflective, and very often frank portrayal of humanity’s dual impulses authored by someone who has lived several chapters, yet knows the story is constantly being rewritten.


It is, quite frankly, Isbell's best solo album thus far.


The music is secondary. Isbell is among the finest lyricists working today, excelling at wordplay in the purest sense of the term, finding the music in language, how it sounds and flows and fits within the surrounding sounds


Southeastern is easily Isbell’s best solo album-- his most richly conceived and generously written.

There’s a reason why Isbell is one of the most respected country musicians in the modern age, he has what a lot of the genre lacks: Heart. The music comes from a sincere place that’s faithful to the genre, yet he adds a unique charm with his honeyed vocals and poetic lyricism. While I’m not totally in love with this album, it’s absolutely worth a listen.

Standout: Traveling Alone
Favs: Different Days, Relatively easy, Songs that she sang in the shower, Live Oak
Least ... read more
The album where Isbell upped the gravitas and the rawness of emotion, delivering the most personal sounding performances of his career so far.

'Southeastern' reveals a maturity to his song writing that's disarming and this is the moment he not only overtakes, but speeds away from his old band's output of the same era.

Classic songs like 'Travelling Alone', 'Elephant' and 'Different Days' sound perfect in intention and execution; tracks that finally could hold their own among the American ... read more
The subject matter of this record is harrowing, and Jason Isbell approaches it with not with metaphor but completely straightforward, and the honesty and resignation to what drugs can do to people is both terribly accurate and heartbreaking. Something about the candid lyricism is so poetic... he drops the word 'benzodiazepine' at the end of a couplet in a country song and at first it's striking and then it's just too real.
Critics tend to label artists like Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves as 'inclusive' versions of country, expanding its scope rather than regurgitating the same themes. Isbell's album does this quite well; his songs touch upon themes of addiction and intimacy while never feeling stuck in the assumed sentiments of country music.

I think what this album demonstrates so successfully is a type of country music surprisingly devoid of judgment. Jason Isbell's narrative is dark, one that is infected by ... read more
astounding songwriting, otherwise okay
Purchasing Southeastern from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Cover Me Up
  2. Stockholm
  3. Traveling Alone
  4. Elephant
  5. Flying Over Water
  6. Different Days
  7. Live Oak
  8. Songs That She Sang In The Shower
  9. New South Wales
  10. Super 8
  11. Yvette
  12. Relatively Easy
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: May 14, 2013