Decoration Day

  • Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: Jun 17, 2003

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Spin
    A raging, ragged Behind The Music--15 coal-black odes to the casualties that art leaves behind and that life can't avoid. [Aug 2003, p.111]
  2. Mojo
    Some of the songwriting is exceptional. [Dec 2003, p.114]
  3. Throughout they succeed in rendering Southern gothic as social realism.
  4. Somber and smart, Decoration Day also manages to kick like a mule, and if isn't quite a masterpiece along the lines of Southern Rock Opera, it's strong enough to suggest the Drive By Truckers have another masterpiece in them.
  5. Few bands today are as good at telling a simple, straightforward, from-the-gut story like the Drive-By Truckers are.
  6. An even stronger collection of songs that builds on it's predecessor's sonic foundations while refusing to get stuck in them.
  7. A deeply personal album that will resonate with anyone who's ever found their life's path leading them down a dead end.
  8. At over an hour, "Decoration Day" does feel a little unwieldy. But for better or worse, there's simply not a single song here that wouldn't be missed.
  9. Darker, more personal than political, Decoration Day rocks easier and rolls harder than Southern Rock Opera, but nevertheless proves beyond a doubt that the DBT engine's got enough horsepower to keep on.
  10. While its peaks fall just a whit short of those on its predecessor, Decoration Day's inward journeys nicely balance out Southern Rock Opera's bombastic expansiveness, and further confirm the Drive-By Truckers' status as the most poetic and insightful Southern rockers in existence today.
  11. The album boasts a handful of crowd-pleasing, party-starting cuts.... Yet more common are moments of startling beauty... and heavy doses of recrimination and regret.
  12. The best new-school Southern rock you can buy.
  13. Q Magazine
    There's a new sense of darkness and despair at their core. [Dec 2003, p.124]
  14. Sure it's a stereotype of all the things the South is. At the same time, it is a clearer-eyed view than has been offered before.
  15. Uncut
    Subtlety with Skynyrd chops. [Dec 2003, p.117]
  16. Not since Bruce Springsteen's Darkness On The Edge Of Town has a group of rock 'n' roll musicians been so in tune with the trappings and traps of small-town life.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. EricR
    Jul 26, 2007
    Best rock act going today
  2. DamienS
    Sep 1, 2006
    It's not a masterpiece like "Southern Rock Opera," but if ever a band has followed a masterpiece honorably, this is it. Here there is It's not a masterpiece like "Southern Rock Opera," but if ever a band has followed a masterpiece honorably, this is it. Here there is less of the obvious Skynyrd influence and more of the country and punk influences that began DBT on its path toward southern rock, giving it a more unique sound. Meanwhile, the insightful, powerful songwriting that characterized "Southern Rock Opera" remains in full force. This may be the best band working in the world right now. Full Review »
  3. CHaltcountrytab
    Oct 30, 2003
    best record of the year