Brighter Than Creation's Darkby Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers leader Patterson Hood wrote in a post on the band's website that 2007 "was supposed to be our year of taking it easy," but it doesn't seem to have worked out that way, and that's a good thing for everyone concerned. The songwriting bug seems to have bit the Drive-By Truckers sometime after the release of 2006's A Blessing and a Curse, and while that album was a bit short on top-shelf material (at least compared to the band's work since Southern Rock Opera), Brighter Than Creation's Dark is a dazzling return to form, delivering some of their finest, most eclectic, and most mature music to date. The album's strength is a pleasant surprise given the departure of guitarist and tunesmith Jason Isbell, who had become one of the group's most interesting writers, but founding members Hood and Mike Cooley have risen to the occasion with some excellent new songs, and bassist Shonna Tucker (who's also Isbell's ex-wife) steps forward as a composer and lead vocalist on this set with three great songs about broken hearts and the stuff that follows in their wake. Opening with "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife," a song by Hood sung from the perspective of a man who has just died and wonders what will become of his family, Brighter Than Creation's Dark presents 19 portraits of folks struggling to make sense of an increasingly chaotic world, ranging from an alcoholic father ("Daddy Needs a Drink") and a family man struggling to hold onto a little piece of the American dream ("The Righteous Path") to a middle-aged guy whose gotten a little too used to being lonely ("Bob") and an illegal gun dealer running short on options ("Checkout Time in Vegas"). While the Truckers are still a great full-tilt hard rock band, Brighter Than Creation's Dark finds them slowing down and turning down a bit more than usual, and in this case it works well for them -- the homey twang of "Lisa's Birthday" and "I'm Sorry Huston" gives new guitarist and pedal steel player John Neff a chance to shine, and the light acoustic arrangement of "Perfect Timing" fits the lyrical portrait of a cheerfully flawed man just fine. And "That Man I Shot" is a blazing, troubling masterpiece in which a soldier home from Iraq can't tear away the memory of a man he killed in combat ("That man I shot, I didn't know him/I was just doing my job, maybe so was he"). It's a tale of the most human consequences of war that's built from equal portions of anger, confusion, and compassion, and it's hard to imagine any other band pulling off its fusion of Southern-fried street smarts and guitar-fueled thunder. It's one of several brilliant moments on Brighter Than Creation's Dark, and less than three weeks into 2008 it's hard not to escape the feeling that with this disc we may already have the best album of the year.
- Release Date:
- New West Records
- Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife
- 3 Dimes Down
- The Righteous Path
- I'm Sorry Huston
- Perfect Timing
- Daddy Needs a Drink
- Self Destructive Zones
- Home Field Advantage
- The Opening Act
- Lisa's Birthday
- That Man I Shot
- The Purgatory Line
- The Home Front
- Checkout Time in Vegas
- You and Your Crystal Meth
- Goode's Field Road
- A Ghost to Most
- The Monument Valley
Performance CreditsDrive-By Truckers Primary Artist
David Barbe Guitar,Track Performer,Loops
John Neff Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Slide Guitar,E-bow,Lap Steel Guitar,Group Member
Spooner Oldham Piano,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Guest Appearance
Mike Cooley Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Harmony,Group Member
Patterson Hood Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Harmony,Vocal Harmony,Group Member
Scott Danbom Fiddle,Track Performer
Brad Morgan Drums,Tambourine,Group Member
Shonna Tucker Bass,Vocals,Harmony,Vocal Harmony,Group Member
Technical CreditsTom Scott Management
David Barbe Composer,Producer,Engineer
Spooner Oldham Composer
Mike Cooley Composer,Echoplex
Drive-By Truckers Composer
Andy LeMaster Engineer
Mike Luba Management
Patterson Hood Composer
Jennifer Bryant Web Service
Wes Freed Artwork,Paintings
Lilla Hood Art Direction
Shonna Tucker Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
this record sucks, as does this band. this is one of the worst records i've ever had the displeasure to hear. bryan adams meets don henley meets billy ray cyrus. shockingly repellent. if you like this record, then you should reevaluate your life.
This isn't the worst I've heard, but man, that singer doesn't do much for me. I like that this sounds different than most other pseudo-country bands out, but I don't think I'd listen to this more than just checking it out for curiosity's sake.
It's been in the player a good 4 days now. Letting Shonna sing was a nice touch.
i have been a dbt fan since '98(when their first album was released) and i must say, this has to be the best "softer" album they have released since their decoration day album, which by the way intorduced jason isbell, who left the band.
for those of you who disagree or just dont like the band then you obviously have no sense of what good music is... take a listen to 3 dimes and tell me that your feet arent tappin along with the beat or thinkin back to your teenage years...or listen to the righteous path and tell me you dont feel the pain hidden the lyrics.
just listen to the entire album and see how it grows on you...if nothin else listen to cooleys ghost to most...his best written song ever...and then check out their earlier stuff...youll come around
The DBT are one of the best country rock acts tearing up the road today. If you're a fan of Southern rock with a college rock sensibility (think early REM crossed with the Replacements or the Clash) then the DBT are for you. People that compare this amazing band with Bryan Adams should really stick with their Kenny Chesney.
Brighter Than Creation's Dark is a good effort from the Drive-By Truckers, especially considering the band was in transition during the making of the album. Singer-guitarist Jason Isbell left and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist John Neff. Remaining guitarist/vocalists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood stepped up their game. And bassist Shawna Tucker also sings lead vocals for the first time too.
The Truckers use a broad sonic pallette, everything from Rolling Stones/Creedence Clearwater Revival-style Hard Rock to Country-Western. They also seem to have a fond place for 80s College Rock.
All in all, it's a cool sound. You may have to get used to it because no one else sounds just like them. You see a whole lot of press that leads you to believe that these guys are Lynyrd Skynyrd/Allman Brothers-type clones; but the only commonality is the region that they are from. The Drive-By Truckers are a lot more liberal and hip than either one of those older bands.