Album: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Here We Rest (Lightning Rod)

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The Independent Culture

The knack for evoking an entire life in a single line, which served Jason Isbell so well in The Drive-By Truckers, is undiminished on Here We Rest, whether it's the newly single chap in "Codeine" who muses, "If there's two things that I hate, it's having to cook and trying to date", or the soldier returning from his "Tour of Duty" whose protestation that he'll "seem so satisfied here" begs the question: only seem so satisfied?

Isbell's characters are all either returning home or yearning for the stability home offers, their illusions of freedom bitterly eroded by life on the road, and their outlook adjusted to fit: "It's realising just how close you've come to death, and rearranging accordingly". Musically, the 400 Unit is equally at home on Little Feat-style swamp-funk, and more countrified collations of fiddle and mandolin.

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