The Nashville Sound Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length solo studio release (and third credited with the 400 Unit) for the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter was produced by Dave Cobb.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jun 16, 2017
    91
    His new record The Nashville Sound, his first with the 400 Unit since 2011’s Here We Rest, is triumphant in its topical resonance, but draws influence from the timelessness of lyrical curiosity. Whether delivering heart-wrenching lines on the crumbling of the American Dream, or the crumbling of a relationship, each is given an equal shake, and that makes his songs unreasonably powerful.
  2. Uncut
    Jun 12, 2017
    90
    The Nashville Sound sees Isbell swaggering confidently along the rockier edge of his range--as usual--he's at his best on the reflective ballads. [Jul 2017, p.32]
  3. 90
    The Nashville Sound is another triumph in his incredible hot streak.
  4. Jun 12, 2017
    80
    His strength is his honesty. He couches his anxieties in simple but poetic language as his band find the sweet spot between country and rock. [Jul 2017, p.90]
  5. 80
    There’s nothing particularly Nashville about Jason Isbell’s new album--no cowboy hats or keening steel guitars--but it does possess, in spades, the kind of blue-collar concerns that have traditionally furnished country music’s backbone.
  6. Jun 14, 2017
    80
    Though he tackles politics ("White Man's World," "Hope the High Road"), mental health ("Anxiety" and "Chaos and Clothes") and other highly present concerns, the overall effect is slightly more timely than timeless. Perhaps it's unfair, though, to hold Isbell to his own lofty standards. Compared to those of his contemporaries, these songs are still miles ahead.
  7. Jun 12, 2017
    60
    The Nashville Sound isn't a bad record by any estimation, but there are flat moments.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 29, 2017
    10
    One of those rare albums that sounds okay on the first listen, great by the fifth, and damned near perfect by the tenth. Isbell is on hisOne of those rare albums that sounds okay on the first listen, great by the fifth, and damned near perfect by the tenth. Isbell is on his game, and it's pretty thrilling to have someone like him consistently delivering the goods. Expand
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    9
    Isbell has proved time and time again he can write good, passionate and personal songs. Songs that do not need an entire circus behind it.Isbell has proved time and time again he can write good, passionate and personal songs. Songs that do not need an entire circus behind it. Isbell's voice is enough to make you want to hear this album many times. With the 400 Unit, making everything even more superb. Expand
  3. Jul 23, 2017
    8
    As a Jason Isbell fan, I can't say this is as good as Southeastern or Something More Than Free. Some of the songs don't bring enough of aAs a Jason Isbell fan, I can't say this is as good as Southeastern or Something More Than Free. Some of the songs don't bring enough of a punch or could have been refined (White Man's World as an example, and no not because of the message), and it does run through familiar territory, the Nashville Sound is still a must listen. Filled with Isbell's trademark songwriting, texture in instrumentation thanks to his 400 Unit and production with Dave Cobbs, as well as the balls to go for a strong political message and social themes, the Nashville Sound is yet another knockout from Isbell and definitely a must listen. Country music should be grateful for songwriters like him! Expand