Son Volt - American Central Dust
- Artist: Son Volt
- Album: American Central Dust
- Label: Rounder
- Year of Release: 2009
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: tosnob on 2009-08-11
I've always cheered for Jay Farrar. Ever since the collapse of Uncle Tupelo, Farrar's Son Volt has played the underdog to Jeff Tweedy's Wilco.
So is it a coincidence that Farrar is releasing Son Volt's new album American Central Dust one scant week after Tweedy released Wilco's tepid Wilco (The Album)? I don't know, I'll leave that for you to decide.
Unfortunately, just as Wilco has pushed boundaries and tested the limits of what experiments their audience is willing to except, Son Volt has stagnated. American Central Dust sees Farrar serving up the same old mid tempo alt.country.
American Central Dust is the sound of a band that has officially become formulaic. Slow wandering shuffles and twangy laments can only be done so many times and so many ways. Even Farrar's vocals and lyrics are stuck in a rut.
We do get a few glimmers of hope. "Down To the Wire" is heavy on reverb guitar which comes ever so close to getting you grooving.
The real reason to hold out hope though is the track "Exiles". The song is a lush, ornately arranged and moody number which has Son Volt sounding almost like a roots-tinged version of The Verve. There is a lot to like about the track and it shows a lot of promise if this were to be the band's future direction.
At the end of the day however, American Central Dust is best left on the store shelf, gathering dust.
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