American Central Dust

  • Record Label: Rounder
  • Release Date: Jul 7, 2009
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20

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  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 are pure delight. Jay Farrar and company are an American treasure.
  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, re-hashed quality of the tunes themselves.
  4. clayH
    Jul 11, 2009
    8
    I really like this effort by Jay and the boys this time around. It's not "Trace" of course, but it's not "The Search" either. The album is mature, solid, and soothing on various levels. Jay seems to have found his peace and wisdom which could be a blessing for all us fans. Hey Pitchfork, a 37 score get real! I guess being stranded in your "ivory tower" feels nice for you.
  5. BertE
    Jul 10, 2009
    6
    First half of the album is energetic and inspired. However, the second half gets bogged down in a bit of a malaise which causes the songs to become nearly indistinguishable.
  6. JamesR
    Jul 8, 2009
    8
    Pretty good album. For the first time since Sebastopol, Farrar consistently evokes an emotional response with his music. And it's mostly a good one. Some of the tunes sound overly familiar and lack originality. However, it's still much more consistently pleasant than his last several efforts.
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. 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.
  3. Son Volt's label debut, American Central Dust, is some of the sleepiest protest music ever made: Every song saunters by at a slow tempo, Farrar's voice sounds increasingly inexpressive, and John Agnello's production makes everything sound real purdy but lifeless.