Stone, Steel & Bright Lights Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: This 19-track live CD from the former Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo member includes two new songs, 15 tracks culled from his three solo discs, and covers of Neil Young and Pink Floyd. It was recorded during his tour in the fall of 2003 while he was backed by a five-piece band (Canyon).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 80
    Crisp, tight and fluid. [Aug 2004, p.92]
  2. Stone, Steel & Bright Lights manages to capture Jay Farrar at his apex as a solo artist, while at the same time reminding fans of why his solo work continues to be so frustrating.
  3. The album cherry-picks the best songs from Farrrar's last few releases, and presents them in often superior form.
  4. The imperfections in Farrar's singing can be distracting at times, but the implacable force of his delivery trumps wobbly pitch every time.
  5. The music's full of warmly engaging jangliness throughout, even if some of the 19 tracks tend to blend together.
  6. Albums like this, while often appealing to the hardcore Farrar fan (redundant, I know), don't add much to his overall cache.
  7. The band really comes alive on the final two tracks, both of which are cover songs.... After the disc finished, I found myself wishing that Farrar's own songs would have been approached with the same heated fervor.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. BrutusO
    Aug 12, 2004
    8
    I am not a geat fan of Farrar - but I saw him live (and bought the CD at the gig). This album definitely shows his strengths, for all that he still drones on a bit. Not exactly fun, but surprisingly effective. The major difference is that he abandons all that tiresome tape loop stuff which just detracts from his unquestioned knack for an emotive delivery. Expand
  2. Matt
    Jun 25, 2004
    7
    Overall enjoyable CD. Adds new life to some songs. Excellent exclamation point at the end with "Like a Hurricane."