The Guitar Song - Jamey Johnson
The  Guitar Song Image
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jamey Johnson's latest album is a 25-track double album with the first half, The Black Album, devoted to dark emotions and the other half, the White Album, devoted to more positive songs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 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.
  2. Dec 21, 2010
    91
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. It's got a few clunkers and slow spots, and, especially given the depressive tempos Johnson's so fond of, it's inadvisable to ingest in one sitting. But surprisingly Guitar is packed at least as solid as his last set, and it's less conventional to boot.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. QA1
    Oct 21, 2010
    9
    It's got a few clunkers and slow spots, and, especially given the depressive tempos Johnson's so fond of, it's inadvisable to ingest in one sitting. But surprisingly Guitar is packed at least as solid as his last set, and it's less conventional to boot. Expand
  2. Nov 25, 2010
    9
    I generally dislike country music, probably because I am from the city and have never spilled barbecue sauce on my tractor, but this album is so deep and filled with raw emotion that any human can relate to it. The guitar playing is very good and I can play this album again and again Collapse
  3. Sep 21, 2010
    9
    This album is outstanding, especially disc one. A standout of the year, for sure. Rarely is a country music album this consistently interesting. My sole complaint is that I found the second disc dragged a bit, but that certainly shouldn't hold you back from buying this set. Expand
  4. Nov 22, 2010
    9
    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. Expand
  5. Oct 11, 2010
    9
    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. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2010
    8
    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. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews