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Drive-By Truckers, ‘Brighter Than Creation’s Dark’ (New West)

Drive-By Truckers always cut deepest when Patterson Hood takes the lead. Unfortunately, the brooding songwriter cedes too much of the spotlight to competent but less distinctive mates Mike Cooley (the Stonesy “3 Dimes Down”) and Shonna Tucker (the Neko Case-lite “I’m Sorry Huston”) on a majority of the 19 tracks on the band’s seventh studio album. Hood’s own songs tell wrenching tales of the underclass, hitching his stricken voice to country shuffles and jagged Neil Young grooves. His most compelling narratives (“You and Your Crystal Meth,” “Daddy Needs a Drink”) are nightmarishly heartbreaking.

Now Hear This: Drive-By Truckers – “A Ghost to Most”

Drive-By Truckers – “The Righteous Path”

More on Drive-By Truckers: Drive-By Truckers Take a Bow For ‘Bright’ Debut

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Tags: Albums