JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT > Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Although Jason Isbell writes good songs, the dense, allusive music is what matters on his second solo record after leaving the Drive-By Truckers. Like Los Lobos on Colossal Head or Big Star on Radio City, Isbell’s 400 Unit go beyond what you’d expect from what seems like a revivalist project. Cut at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit works as soundscape first and narrative second.









Label: LIGHTNING ROD
[Rating: 3 ½ stars]

Although Jason Isbell writes good songs, the dense, allusive music is what matters on his second solo record after leaving the Drive-By Truckers. Like Los Lobos on Colossal Head or Big Star on Radio City, Isbell’s 400 Unit go beyond what you’d expect from what seems like a revivalist project. Cut at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit works as soundscape first and narrative second. Isbell’s tales of lost youth and seductive bartenders definitely suggest a world-weariness that is not inappropriate for men in their late twenties. The band has a feel for soul and Southern rock, but this is a richly experimental record that could use even more craziness. These guys can play, and Isbell has real talent: “The Last Song I Will Write” is first-rate. So let’s hope that’s just a conceit, and he keeps it up for the long haul.




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