[New Release] Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Label: Southeastern/Thirty Tigers
Jason Isbell long ago earned his place among the finest songwriters of his generation. Now he’s just pouring it on.
On “Reunions,” Isbell’s seventh full-length album and fourth with the 400 Unit, the four-time Grammy winner firms up his place on the short list of artists whom you could draw up a list of 25 best songs and start real arguments.
As Isbell works the vortex between folk, country and rock, a range of influences surface, including John Prine, but the sound is distinctly his own. A master of lyrical surprise, Isbell paints childhood summerscapes, recalls secret meeting places and then pierces the rapture with reminders of brokenness and hurt.
The 400 Unit shines throughout. “River” features Isbell’s wife, Amanda Shires, playing fiddle — and it’s glorious.
Isbell’s music has that grow-on-you quality that makes it hard to measure instantly against his previous work. That’s not a flaw, to be clear — and it’s safe to say this album will start some new arguments. AP