Album review: Jason Isbell, Southeastern (Southeastern)


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The Independent Culture

Previous albums with his band The 400 Unit have seen Jason Isbell mining the Southern rock and soul roots of his Alabama/Tennessee heritage, but Southeastern finds him working in a more stripped-down manner which focuses attention firmly on his songs. Fortunately, they're brilliant: vivid, multi-faceted tales of souls adrift. Regretful reminiscences like "Different Days" rub shoulders with more problematic tableaux: the man plotting the murder of a paedophile in "Yvette", and, most creepily, the schizophrenic in "Live Oak" wondering which side of him his lover is attracted to.

Download: Cover Me Up; Elephant; Live Oak; Different Days