The Drive-By Truckers’ new album The Big To-Do comes out today on ATO records.
Before I start a review you should know, if you don’t already, that I’m completely biased about this band. I’ve been going to their rock shows for coming up on 6 years and 25 concerts, and I’ve been a fan of their albums even longer.
That disclaimed, this album, man, this album. Right now it sits at #1 with a bullet on the list of best albums I’ve heard this year.
Each of the songwriters in the band has a song on the album that is among the best, if not the best, song they’ve ever written (“The Wig He Made Her Wear,” “Birthday Boy,” “You Got Another” for Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley & Shonna Tucker respectively). But it is more than just a collection of great songs. This is the album I’ve been waiting for from DBT for a good long while. From the first note to the last note the songs blend together and tell something cohesive.
This is a big to-do.
Over the last 6 years I’ve introduced many of my friends to DBT, and I’ve always done it with either a mixtape that culls the best from every album or by taking them to concerts completely cold and having them be blown away.
But today? Today if I found someone who needed an introduction to DBT, I’d loan her this album. There is no better way to describe way the band is now. I listen to it, and from start to finish know that this is an album that exemplifies everything I love about the band.
It is a rock show. It’ll break your heart with the slow songs, and the angry ones might just break your heart too. It’s three stellar songwriters at their best. It’s three guitars loud, except when it is achingly quiet on the mix. It is, simply put, not just an excellent Drive-By Truckers record, but an excellent album, period.
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