Jason Isbell’s last record “Southeastern” catapulted him into a whole new stratosphere of stardom. He used good songwriting as his main selling point and gladly traded in noisy half full bars for sold out mid sized theaters where the crowd hangs on every word. “Something More Than Free” is released once again as a critic’s darling. He advances even more into his quiet singer/songwriter career and moves further away from the angsty southern rocker he used to be.
“24 Frames” has the markings of another strong lead single (if singles even mean anything anymore for an artist like Isbell.) The big chorus and mid-tempo pace make it a clear favorite among this group of songs. Other than “Palmetto Rose” where Isbell gets a little bluesy but still keeps himself well under control there are no rockers here. Most songs are quiet thinkers where you wait for the story to unfold. “Speed Trap Town” is a great example of what he does best, tell stories that are foreign to the listeners life but aren’t all that far fetched from being a reality and that is what Isbell thrives on.
The vinyl once again is a double LP, at 11 songs and 44 minutes I really don’t understand why it needs to be three (or less) songs per side but it is. It makes listening a less enjoyable experience for me, I’d rather have 6 songs on one side and five on the other, I don’t think that the sound quality would suffer all that much from it. This album is still worth seeking out, it is no “Southeastern” but it is still very strong and an appropriate follow-up.
Key Tracks: “24 Frames” “Speed Trap Town”