On Disc: Drive-By Truckers

Album: Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Brighter Than Creation's Dark by Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers
Brighter Than Creation's Dark
New West Records

4 stars

After two years and a major lineup change, Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers is back with its seventh studio album, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark.

Drive-By Truckers, which is known for its three singer-songwriter dynamic, parted ways with guitarist Jason Isbell early last year. His absence on this disc is masked, quite successfully, by the addition of steel guitar and keyboard players, and by the songwriting debut of bassist Shonna Tucker. The album offers hard-edged, but melodic, southern rock laced with organs and slide guitars.

The songs written by Tucker and frontman Patterson Hood are dark, alternative country numbers loaded with “dirty south” stories and images. Guitarist Mike Cooley’s contributions, though hokey at times, make up the album’s lighter side and give drummer Brad Morgan a chance to play with brushes instead of sticks.

Drive-By Truckers’ new sound is best captured by the tender opening track “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife” and Cooley’s energetic “A Ghost To Most.”

The rest of the album shares the same honest lyrics, minor keys and southern drawl.

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