• Record Label: Rounder
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jun 18, 2013
    80
    Its 11 new originals that wouldn't sound out of place on country radio or in a roadhouse in the '50s and '60s. [Jul 2013, p.92]
  2. Mar 29, 2013
    80
    It's a soul-searchingly strong set. [May 2013, p.78]
  3. 80
    Farrar backs up his good intentions with an album's worth of strong material. [Apr 2013, p.90]
  4. Mar 5, 2013
    80
    As the age-old debate of what constitutes country music continues in some quarters, Son Volt leader Jay Farrar quietly, and compellingly, makes a case for the classic sounds on the beguiling Honky Tonk.
  5. Mar 5, 2013
    80
    Honky Tonk is country facing forward informed by the past.
  6. Apr 18, 2013
    78
    In the end, Honky Tonk is a slow burn, Farrar musing on life as scenery flashes past the van window, and the redemptive power of music.
  7. Mar 29, 2013
    70
    The result is light as a feather, with laid back songs that would be perfect played live during some lazy afternoon outdoor festival, sprawled on the grass and drinking a cold beer.
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    70
    Honky-Tonk is a Country Music album. No Alt required.
  9. Mar 5, 2013
    70
    Ever since Jay Farrar's Uncle Tupelo days, you could imagine his big, bourbon-y voice fronting a country band in a Bakersfield roadhouse circa 1963. Honky Tonk comes close to realizing that sound, and it's a gorgeous thing.
  10. Apr 16, 2013
    65
    The band seems aware that it's on well-trod ground throughout Honky Tonk, though that doesn't seem to affect Son Volt one bit. [No. 97, p.59]
  11. Mar 5, 2013
    65
    This recording feels more like a pleasant diversion rather than a necessity.
  12. 60
    Honky Tonk finds Farrar once again bearing the brunt of Son Volt’s musical and emotional baggage, and that’s nothing new.
  13. Mar 5, 2013
    60
    Some may chide Farrar for playing it safe on Honky Tonk, but in nearly every respect this album sounds as if Farrar has finally arrived at an artistic place he's always longed to find.
  14. Mar 12, 2013
    59
    The pacing is so languid, the dynamics so muted that I doubt this iteration of Son Volt would last very long in a real honkytonk.

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