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Southeastern [VINYL] Import

64 customer reviews

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Biography

Southeastern is not a record Jason has made before, and not simply because the glorious storm and drama of his band, the 400 Unit, is absent. They will tour together; it's not a breakup record, not an album of dissolving, but, rather, songs of discovery. And not at all afraid, not even amid the tears. Which is to say that he has grown up. That it has been a dozen years since he showed up ... Read more in Amazon's Jason Isbell Store

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Product details

  • Vinyl (30 Sept. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Southeastern Records/Red
  • ASIN: B00L4X47DI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 682,341 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although I'm sorry Jason Isbell left Drive By Truckers - I think both parties lost something on that deal - it's perfectly understandable when his subsequent output is considered. He must have been positively bursting with all the songs he had waiting to be let out when at best he only managed three or four per album with the Truckers. Since they released their last album, Isbell has released at least three, and his latest, Southeastern, is about his best.

The songs and music cover a variety of subjects and run the gamut of emotions from sad to totally desolate, Isbell apparently channeling Leonard Cohen in that respect, with some quiet and contemplative ballads alongside more lively rockers, though there's no AC/DC here.

Traveling Alone opens with the most plaintive fiddle ever, Amanda Shires apparently strangling the notes out of her instrument, and as she continues to squeeze melancholy from its pores Isbell's voice and words match the ongoing mood. Elephant, the following track, hardly lifts the veil, being about the big C, and features the bitter line "No one dies with dignity".

Songs That She Sang In The Shower, one of a number of songs in a pleasing 3/4 time, is the first of a couple of songs where the singer is on the wrong end of a beating, opening with a smack in the eye which requires application of a steak, and progressing to his significant other walking out as a consequence, prompting his reflection on her musical repertoire whilst showering. The second song in which he receives a beating is Super 8, the chorus of which, "Don't want to die in a Super 8 motel", reminded me of a stay in Lafayette.

The collection ends with Relatively Easy, in which Simon and Garfunkel meet the E Street Band for another contemplation of loneliness.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD
At long last Jason Isbell has delivered that great classic album that he always threatened to make. From his days as a key component in the Deep South's best band the Drive By Truckers to his excellent debut "Sirens of the Ditch", Isbell has produced songs of the highest quality and delivery. Yet even die hard Isbell supporters began to lose faith in later albums culminating with the mixed bag of 2011's "Here we rest" which languishes on this reviewers I Pod like an abandoned prisoner with only "Alabama Pines" allowed out in the exercise yard. The new album "Southeastern" is the product of Isbell going through recovery and cleaning up his act on the Jack Daniels front. More importantly he has found a soulmate and fell in love with musician Amanda Shires who plays on this album (his previous marriage to the DBTs Shonna Tucker fell apart and contributed to his departure from the band). It appears that cupid's intervention has done him a power of good since the fog that enveloped "Here we rest" has lifted and every song on this record basks in radiant clarity. Isbell's often-underplayed strength has been his ear for a classic ballad including stunners like "Dress Blues". On "Southeastern" they populate the album in abundance, not least "Cover me up" a tough song about addictions and passion with has nice Beatles like undercurrent melody. The line "girl leave your boots by the bed, we ain't leaving this room 'til someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom." is classic. What is also noticeable is how much his voice has improved. The good ole Southern twang is still there but its now more mainstream American if that makes sense and it works.Read more ›
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I think this is something rather special. This was an almost random selection for me on a vague recommendation and it turned out to be an outstanding album of real quality, with fine songs and excellent performances.

The album has a feel of singer-songwriter about it. Even though there is some lovely support work from a band and some other singers in places (including the very good Kim Richey), the real impact is from Jason Isbell's fine singing and guitar work. There is a melancholy air over the album, with the songs dealing with loneliness, broken relationships, human flaws and the like. This sounds very miserable but isn't; Isbell creates lovely singable melodies with excellent arrangements and production, and a variety of tones from solo voice and guitar to full rock band sound. It is certainly often poignant and touching but somehow never depressing.

What makes this quite exceptionally good, though, is Isbell's lyrics, in my view. He tells stories and conjures emotional states with exceptional depth and it gives the songs real impact. This is at its most raw in Elephant, a stunning song about a friend dying of cancer. There are a lot of great lines in it, like "Surrounded by family, I saw that she was dying alone..." I have had far more experience of loved ones dying of cancer than any one person ought and, among the euphemism and untruth the living comfort themselves with, it is very unusual to find anyone with the perceptiveness and insight to see the truth and the courage to speak it. I think it's a remarkable song, and Isbell brings a similar level of thoughtfulness and honesty to many of the songs on this album.

It is always a joy to discover new music of this quality, and I will certainly be listening to Jason Isbell's back-catalogue very soon. For now, I'm listening to this album repeatedly and getting more out of it each time. I'd recommend this very warmly to anyone who likes beautiful, thoughtful and intelligent songs.
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