256. Drive-By Truckers – “A Blessing and a Curse”

The shift in style between the DBT’s Dirty South and this follow-up is quite stunning.

If wasn’t for the distinctive vocals I wouldn’t pick it as the same band. Gone is the grimy Southern rock and finely crafted tales.  In its place is a much more mainstream, MOR rock approach. It’s a damn shame.

That previous release was a gem, while this could be a long list of bands (most of whom I wouldn’t cross the street to check out). Does the world really need another Tom Petty sound-alike outfit?

There are big bright glimmers of hope, however.  Track 2, Gravity’s Gone is a fantastic piece of songwriting very well executed.

Likewise, Aftermath USA, is a classy variation on the “woke up this morning” standard.  It certainly seems like there was quite a party around their place:

Those two tracks are the real exceptions on here, and coincidently the tunes where they most sound like their touring buddies The Hold Steady.

I am intrigued to give their next album another listen.  I was convinced this was one of the bands I needed to see and embrace live, but now I’m a little less enthused (but only  little).

File under: I’m leaning towards curse

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