Decoration Day - Drive-By Truckers

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The best new-school Southern rock you can buy.
  5. An even stronger collection of songs that builds on it's predecessor's sonic foundations while refusing to get stuck in them.
  6. A deeply personal album that will resonate with anyone who's ever found their life's path leading them down a dead end.
  7. Throughout they succeed in rendering Southern gothic as social realism.
  8. Few bands today are as good at telling a simple, straightforward, from-the-gut story like the Drive-By Truckers are.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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. 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.
  13. 100
    Some of the songwriting is exceptional. [Dec 2003, p.114]
  14. 70
    Subtlety with Skynyrd chops. [Dec 2003, p.117]
  15. There's a new sense of darkness and despair at their core. [Dec 2003, p.124]
  16. 100
    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]

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