Photo Credit - Alysse Gafkjen
Advance Review - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Reunions (May 15, 2020)
The immensely talented Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are back with a new studio release Reunions that drops everywhere tomorrow! Though it did have an early physical release for independent record stores last week. Some musical highlights of the album are already favorites among the initiated, specifically Isbell and violinist/wife Amanda Shires beautiful harmonization, deep and meaningful lyrics, and tight alt-country melodies full of bountiful rhythms and dynamic leads. While Isbell and Company definitely have deep alt-country roots, there's also always an element of rock to their sound as well. That's no different on Reunions.
The album has several high flyers including "What've I Done to Help", "Be Afraid", and "It Gets Easier". "It Gets Easier" particularly stands out on the album, as it addresses issues of alcohol use/abuse, something that Isbell has been extremely open about as he has been sober for approximately 8 years now. His journey is inspirational and I'm glad he shared a song about the topic on the album. Reunions also has a few signature slower jams for fans including "Only Children", "Running with Our Eyes Closed", "River" and "St. Peter's Autograph". "Only Children" is another highlight of the album as it is chock-full of those Isbell/Shires harmonies that are incomparable.
Overall, Reunions is another strong entry into the catalog of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. This group is just great at making warm music that fits the alt-country genre so damn well. A contender for album of the month, as well as album of the year for me Reunions has got the sound you just can't get enough of.
Rating - 4.5/5