The Big To-Do - Drive-By Truckers

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    The Big To-Do, it's pleasing to report, rocks as hard and loud as anything they've previously done. [Apr 2010, p.78]
  2. The Big To-Do features some of the band's most evocative chunks of misery-detailing to date.
  3. While the portions are smaller on The Big To-Do, they’re just as satisfying.
  4. The band still has the muscle to match its mileage.
  5. The Big To-Do is a subtle but genuine step forward from 2008's Brighter Than Creation's Dark, but while that album dug deep into the darker undercurrents of its songs, The Big To-Do resembles Bruce Springsteen's The River in that its stories of folks under punishing circumstances are married to music that tries to find some sort of grace and honor in the struggle without dulling the lyrical impact.
  6. A collection of unconnected-though certainly related-songs that traverse all sorts of Southern terrain and situations. The group's songwriting trio (mainly Patterson Hood) offers the usual array of potent guitar riffs, stomping hard rock and vivid lyricism.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jul 15, 2011
    Probably their most accessible album in terms of catchy songs (maybe I'm wrong). There appears to be something on here for everyone. The guitars crunch like their rockier records like a ten minute Crazy Horse jam, but in respectful restraint. Patterson aims big on this one, with partner in crime Mike Cooley paving the usual territory. His "Birthday Boy" might be the album highlight. Shawna Tucker's contributions are well placed too ("You've Got Another") and Hood keeps it familiar with his direction ("The Wig He Made Her Wear"). Not mellow like their previous effort (Brighter Than Creation's Dark) or the next one after (Go-Go Boots). If you're a fan of the band, you'll enjoy the album. Nothing groundbreaking, but worth every penny. Full Review »
  2. May 13, 2011
    The Drive-By Truckers can write some good Southern rock riffs, but this album felt less inspired than Brighter than Creation's Dark or Go-Go Boots. There are some interesting songs on here ("Birthday Boy", "This F****ng Job", "The Fourth Night of My Drinking"), but not having a defined concept seems to have zapped the music of its cohesiveness. Full Review »