Something More Than Free Image
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87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length solo release for the singer-songwriter was produced by Dave Cobb.
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  • Record Label: Southeastern Records
  • Genre(s): Country, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Roots Rock, Southern Rock
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

If It Takes a Lifetime
I been working here Monday it'll be a year And I can't recall a day when I didn't wanna disappear But I keep on showin' up Hell bent on growing up If... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Jan 14, 2016
    100
    Happily, the words are wonderful and Something More Than Free is an album that grows and grows on you. Producer Dave Cobb is in fine action again and gets the best from the settings behind Isbell's effecting voice. Some of the songs are simply splendid.
  2. Isbell isn't your average songwriter, and on Something More Than Free, there's a pretty strong argument to be made that he's outplaying anyone else in the game right now.
  3. Jul 15, 2015
    90
    Still walking the high wire, with Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell continues his streak of genre-defining masterworks.
  4. Jul 13, 2015
    80
    What Something More Than Free does best is confirm that Isbell is a rare talent, one who doesn’t need a major life event to inspire him to make great music.
  5. Jul 24, 2015
    80
    The achingly good Something More Than Free, captures the mix of excitement and fear that comes when the sun rises on a new day.
  6. Jul 16, 2015
    80
    A couple of songs, like How To Forget, are well written but not quite interesting enough musically. Still, this album proves that Isbell is still one of the best songwriters in his genre.
  7. Jul 14, 2015
    58
    Isbell is obviously familiar with the music of the region, yet Something More Than Free sounds nondescript and--worse--placeless.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jul 18, 2015
    10
    One of the best new Americana albums in recent memory. If you are a fan of roots music and classic song writing there will be plenty to loveOne of the best new Americana albums in recent memory. If you are a fan of roots music and classic song writing there will be plenty to love with this album. Expand
  2. Aug 7, 2016
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Jason delivered another master piece, the man is a genius no doubt, his vocals are on point same applies for his lyrics ''You thought God was an architect, now you know He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow'' Expand
  3. Aug 20, 2016
    10
    Jason Isbell solo (or with the 400 Unit) is far superior to his overrated former band, Drive-By Truckers. This is superb Americana songcraft:Jason Isbell solo (or with the 400 Unit) is far superior to his overrated former band, Drive-By Truckers. This is superb Americana songcraft: heartfelt, resonant lyrics together with deft melodies. And not a duff track in the bunch. Expand
  4. Jul 25, 2015
    9
    Simply put, this is a lovely, calm, and confident record. Isbell isn't singing about anything dramatic, but he finds beauty in the mundaneSimply put, this is a lovely, calm, and confident record. Isbell isn't singing about anything dramatic, but he finds beauty in the mundane effortlessly. "How to Forget" is, in particular, truly sublime. Expand
  5. Jul 19, 2015
    9
    JI comes through with another solid record. I've read Pitchfork's review and while I agree that there may have been an opportunity for IsbellJI comes through with another solid record. I've read Pitchfork's review and while I agree that there may have been an opportunity for Isbell to make some grand social statement, that's not what he does. He's a storyteller, and if you enjoy his previous tales of American life, you'll like this album. His voice sounds confident and the playing in top notch. My favorite track on this is "Speed Trap Town" although I wish it was longer. Hopefully they'll stretch out and jam a little when they play it live. This record is quiet and mellow. Isbell can write great rock and roll and I hope the next album rocks a little harder. Even so, this is my favorite release so far this year. Go buy it and support arguably the best songwriter out there at the moment.
    - Dave Tshudy
    Expand
  6. Jan 18, 2016
    8
    Isbell is arguably the finest combination songwriter/performer currently mining the alt country vein. Each song is a short story, madeIsbell is arguably the finest combination songwriter/performer currently mining the alt country vein. Each song is a short story, made grander by the performance style he chooses for each song. Any number of great moments on this record, which is a "grower", particularly given the genius of "Southeastern". My only minor criticism, which I'd offer for both this record as well as Southeastern, is the general lack of up tempo stuff. Having seen Jason come up with DBT, and listening to his earlier solo records, it's obvious that he is a hell of an electric guitar player. I'd like to hear a bit more rawk added to the mix in the future. Expand
  7. Sep 9, 2015
    7
    I feel like the critics are almost always an album behind, especially when it comes to emerging artists (Drenge is another good example). ThisI feel like the critics are almost always an album behind, especially when it comes to emerging artists (Drenge is another good example). This album is solid, but it definitely lags behind its predecessor. The melodies are a little more tame and the lyrics a little less touching. And yet, somehow, this album is currently rated the same as Southeastern. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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