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Best Albums of the 2010s: Number 2 - "The Nashville Sound" by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

2017 produced this masterpiece from the former Drive-By Trucker. From the moment it fades in with the elegiac "Last of My Kind"to the last notes of "Something to Love" this is solid gold. Much like Gary Louris on my number five choice, the level of craft in these songs is phenomenal. Isbell's songs are so good I'd actually view him as a songwriter first and performer second. I've said many times over the years that there are two types of music fan, those who love Gram Parsons and those who haven't found him yet. Whilst I'm not comparing Isbell to Parsons as a singer, (who sits atop my list of favourite singers of all time), in terms of discerning music fans I feel the same criteria applies. If someone likes good music and they somehow haven't come across the Alabaman yet, then hand them this album or Southeastern and they will be smitten.
The whole album is practically a highlight reel, with only "Chaos and Clothes" and the aforementioned closer "Something to Love" falling short of a 10/10 rating. 

After "Last of My Kind" has eased us in "Cumberland Gap" kicks it up a gear and rocks hard.
"Tupelo" and "Molotov" sounds like two of the best songs the Eagles never wrote whilst the self-examination of "White Man's World" avoids preaching by turning the spotlight inward as well as outward.
"If We Were Vampires" maybe one of the most beautiful and original meditations on love and ageing.
"Anxeity" rocks  us hard again, a companion piece to "Flying Over Water" to me. I also love the way it fakes out before building back up to an epic finish.

"Hope The High Road" is another great rocker and to be honest would work well as the closer, but overall you cannot miss with this album, and given my effusive praise you might be wondering why this isn't the best album of the last decade. Well, there is one that climbs even higher, but that should not be taken as a slight on this superb work. Here's hoping upcoming new release, "Reunions" can hit the same heights.
"I know you're tired and you ain't sleeping well. Uninspired and likely mad as hell, but wherever you are I hope the high road leads you home again........"

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