American Central Dust

  • Record Label: Rounder
  • Release Date: Jul 7, 2009
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. American Central Dust doesn't have the feel of a step into new territory the way Son Volt's past two albums did, but it consolidates old strengths and confirms Jay Farrar is still an artist worth caring about to 20 years after Uncle Tupelo cut their first album.
  2. Seldom uplifting, American Central Dust still reaffirms Son Volt's pinnacle atop today's American roots rockers.
  3. As usual, singer and songwriter Jay Farrar has a few things on his mind, and his lyrics have grown more plain-spoken and potent with time.
  4. So while the songs that sizzle on American Central Dust--'Down to the Wire,' 'When the Wheels Don't Move'--are of vintage stock, be prepared to sift through some monotonous meandering to find them.
  5. Mojo
    80
    There's a back-to-basics feel on the mid-tempo country rockers, the slow beauties and mournful lap steel, and even on the musically warm, more upbeat, almost Tex-Mex opening song. [Sep 2009, p.92]
  6. While American Central Dust falls short of "Trace's" heights, the album showcases Farrar's excellent songwriting, which is comfortingly familiar. It’s also a little monotonous.
  7. 70
    The energetic players temper Farrar's grave persona--for all the vintage touches, this is a deceptively funky band, as the sultry 'Down to the Wire' proves.
  8. This is Farrar’s most consistent album in years, in large part because he no longer seems to be straining so much. American Central Dust shows Farrar in his comfort zone, recording songs he knows his fans will like, and not much caring whether his detractors get on board.
  9. There's an easiness and directness to these tunes that was missing the last couple of times out, aided by Joe Henry and Ryan Freeland's no-nonsense mix but owing mainly to Farrar's vivid songwriting.
  10. It’s all a clear throwback, but the starkly countrified vibe underscores the plaintive cast of Mr. Farrar’s lyrics.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 10, 2013
    9
    Son Volt's American Central Dust contains some of the best of the country rock genre. Tracks such as No Turning Back and Jukebox of Steel areSon Volt's American Central Dust contains some of the best of the country rock genre. Tracks such as No Turning Back and Jukebox of Steel are pure delight. Jay Farrar and company are an American treasure. Full Review »
  2. DebK
    Jul 12, 2009
    8
    He is no Jeff Tweedy, but he taint half bad.
  3. RL
    Jul 12, 2009
    5
    Everything by Son Volt, including this new one, sounds the same...largely due to Farrar's monotonous, unchanging vocals and the generic, Everything by Son Volt, including this new one, sounds the same...largely due to Farrar's monotonous, unchanging vocals and the generic, re-hashed quality of the tunes themselves. Full Review »