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Jason Isbell keeps exceeding expectations

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Jason Isbell, The Nashville Sound
  • Jason Isbell, The Nashville Sound
Jason Isbell’s biggest post-Drive-By Truckers problem is living up to the standard of his previous solo work. The Alabama country-rocker has met that challenge this time around with the 10 tracks that grace The Nashville Sound. Although the album occasionally comes across as more derivative than earlier recordings, the riffs in songs like “Cumberland Gap” and “Molotov” have almost no equals in current Americana music. Many of the tracks on this new album, like “White Man’s World,” display the same sort of explicit and topical anger that his cohorts in Drive-By Truckers turned to in 2016. It’s possible that, years from now, Isbell fans will refer to The Nashville Sound and its two predecessors as the trilogy that defined Isbell at his best. But don’t discount the possibility that he’ll just keep exceeding expectations.
File next to: Sturgill Simpson, Ryan Adams, Chris Stapleton

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