SON VOLT > American Central Dust

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

American Central Dust is subdued and plaintive compared to the sonic eclecticism of their previous set (2007’s The Search) but finds Farrar at his absolute songwriting peak.










SON VOLT
American Central Dust
(ROUNDER)
[Rating: 4 STARS]

Jay Farrar has established himself as the poet laureate of country rock, his collected work a revelation amidst a crowded genre. Certainly, since Son Volt broke onto the scene in 1995, the lineup has bent, broken and mended, but with each new phase, what remains is Farrar’s songwriting and untested vision. American Central Dust, the band’s sixth studio album, is subdued and plaintive compared to the sonic eclecticism of their previous set (2007’s The Search) but finds Farrar at his absolute songwriting peak. Opener “Dynamite” is wittily ambiguous: “This love is like celebrating the Fourth of July with dynamite,” sings Farrar in his trademark baritone. “Cocaine and Ashes,” a tribute to Keith Richards, is Farrar’s best piano ballad ever, with an unforgettable chorus you have to hear for yourself. And album closer “Jukebox of Steel” is the cousin of 2005’s “Gramaphone,” easily the closest you’ll ever hear Son Volt get to FM radio.

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