Sirens of the Ditch - Jason Isbell

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Sirens is the sound of a freshly liberated songwriter scouring his soul - and coming up full-handed.
  2. 80
    Overall, Sirens… may be a bit of a stylistic scattershot, but the Muscle Shoals foundation and Isbell’s razor-sharp songwriting mark it as an auspicious debut.
  3. This is a remarkably mature and impressive debut from an artist who seems like he's just getting started and his best stuff lies ahead of him.
  4. The record smoothly lures and detours familiar, '70s-based rock-blues-country sounds and expectations while highlighting Isbell's character-actor flair.
  5. Isbell's best songs will remind you of Richard Buckner, Raymond Carver, and Neil Young.
  6. The simpler arrangements suit Isbell on songs with an understated but unmistakable Southern rock flair.
  7. "The Devil Is My Running Mate" a weak ending for a strong debut full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can't be taught.
  8. Sirens is no "Heartbreaker" - though the stylistic grab-bag is reminiscent of Adams’s debut - but it is a damn good start.
  9. 70
    It's all top-shelf alt-country: road-hardened, literate and dark as ever. [August 2007, p.114]
  10. 70
    Given time, Isbell could be roots rock's Flannery O'Connor. [Aug 2007, p.102]
  11. Isbell shines most when he’s not channeling; tracks like 'Chicago Promenade,' 'Shotgun Wedding' and tasteful protest ballad 'Dress Blues' (which smartly chooses empathy over proselytizing) find his sound evolving into an alternately rocked-up and quietly satisfying maturity.
  12. Sirens sounds deceptively ordinary - it could be a Springsteen or John Hiatt record, professionally performed and plainly captured, yet executed with masterful effortlessness.
  13. Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive By Truckers, releases a solid, sad, gritty new album as a solo artist.
  14. Isbell has pulled together another gritty Southern Siren song.
  15. Isbell shows us his sensitive side in a collection of lightly strummed breakup ballads and weepy slow-dancers you'd expect to get from Ryan Adams. That's not an endorsement.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. GaryM
    Aug 16, 2007
    "The Devil Is My Running Mate" a weak ending for a strong debut full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can't be taught" Are you F'n kidding me??? This is the best ANTI WAR, ANTI RACIST songs since Vietnam. Full Review »
  2. Tg
    Aug 1, 2007
    If you can't find a few cuts on this cd that you really like, you just don't like music. Highly versatile w/ rock, country,folk, blues, ballads. It's done masterfully instrumentally as well as lyrically(is that a word?)great wk from a hometown guy. NOTE: He's not ryan adams and it's not a truckers album! Full Review »
  3. MarcosM
    Aug 1, 2007
    Amazing songwriting.