The Guitar Song - Jamey Johnson

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Dec 21, 2010
    On his audacious, frequently excellent third album, The Guitar Song, Johnson shares his dream of outlaw country becoming as dominant a commercial force as it was in the '70s, over the course of 25 songs rooted in the past, but not indebted to it.
  2. 90
    Yet if Johnson seems uninterested in Nashville's warm-and-cuddly act, he agrees with its insistence on crackerjack songcraft, and that keeps The Guitar Song from hardening into tough-guy drudgery.
  3. It rings true to one man's unshakable vision.
  4. The moody set mixes covers of legends like Vern Gosdin with originals that ring so true they might as well be standards. The 25-song collection feels longer than Johnson's infamous owl sanctuary of a beard, but it's unlikely any country purists will complain.
  5. The Guitar Song comes grouped in two parts, a "Black Album" and a "White Album," structured, according to Johnson, as a progressive movement from a dark and sordid beginning to a reassuring and redemptive end. That structure isn't always discernable in listening. What is immediately evident, though, is that this is a phenomenal collection of country music.
  6. The Guitar Song quite firmly cements Johnson's place at the forefront of today's country music songwriters, performers, and singers. The fact that he had the courage to put out a 25-song album after achieving some success is not as significant as the courage he had to keep following his vision of what country music can and should be.
  7. With The Guitar Song, he's made an ambitious work that goes down easy. Johnson may masquerade as a throwback but what he really aims for is timelessness, and he usually hits his mark.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 21, 2010
    The idea of his music is simple, tell a story of my life and lay it out for all to see. Like with his last album Mr. Johnson spins a weary tale of drugs, divorce, infidelity, and pain and is it a story. The two discs (the darker, more rich black album showing the him at his best) contain nothing but a tired, true country boy who loves talking about the blues. Good listen my friends. Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2010
    Pop country music has always been plagued by cheesy, trite, sentimental songs--the obvious, the ralley-around-the-flag patriotism, the cliche. Serious listeners of music justifiable look down on pop country music, though they make exceptions for artists like Hank Williams, Sr., Johnny Cash, Grahm Parsons, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Loretta Lynn, and a handful of others. Jamey Johnson joins the ranks of the true country music elite with "The Guitar Song"--a long, rich, powerful epic that gets better with each listen. Though it definitely stands on the depressive side of the street (hence the 9 instead of the 10, which would require a broader range of emotion), it has rockers and sing-along ballads, catchy hooks and compelling covers, brilliant instrumentation, and Johnson's powerful vocals. This is a "country" album for music lovers who generally avoid the genre. Full Review »
  3. Oct 11, 2010
    It's hard to believe the guy that wrote "Honkey Tonk Buh-Donka-Donk" would write such a meaningful, dare i say EMOTIONAL country record, AND in addition, be considered "outlaw" with the likes of Hank III, Merle and George? Ever song on the first disc is a tired, beaten slug of whiskey down a chain-smoker's throat. I recommend this only IF you arent as down as he is. Full Review »