Step into the mesmerizing world of “Weathervanes,” where each track unfolds as a four-minute epic, captivating listeners with its profound storytelling and evocative melodies.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have delivered a true gem with their highly anticipated eighth studio album, “Weathervanes.” From start to finish, this record embodies the quintessential Jason Isbell sound, showcasing his pitch-perfect country sensibilities that reach deep into your core and leave you in awe.
In a year saturated with musical offerings, “Weathervanes” reigns as a standout, captivating our senses with its raw emotional intensity and thought-provoking lyrics.
This album embarks on an introspective odyssey, unraveling the intricacies of existence and inviting listeners to delve into their own beliefs and experiences. With its magnetic allure and profound depth, “Weathervanes” firmly establishes itself as the quintessential release of the year, leaving an indelible mark on the musical landscape.
The album bursts open with the lead track, “Death Wish,” setting the stage for the brilliance that lies ahead. Isbell’s mastery of songwriting is on full display, as he draws from his own self-expression and self-awareness to craft songs that resonate deeply with listeners. The lyrics are not only relatable but also carry a striking depth, inviting contemplation and introspection.
One standout track is the delightful “Strawberry Woman,” infused with exquisite guitar work that perfectly captures the essence of love, life, and the necessary space for growth within relationships. Isbell’s eloquent lyrics, such as “It hurts to learn,” reflect the poignant truths of life’s journey.
In the evocative track “Cast Iron Skillet,” Isbell’s lyrics venture into profound territory, exploring the repercussions of excessive questioning and the repercussions of avoiding our own inner voids. With unwavering honesty, he urges us to confront our vulnerabilities and embrace the uncomfortable truths that dwell within. As the song unfolds, Isbell’s poignant words serve as a call to action, reminding us of the transformative power that comes from facing our own shadows head-on.
The album culminates beautifully with the closing track, “Miles,” which speaks to the ever-changing voyage of life, reminding us that the journey itself is what truly matters.
Drawing comparisons to a countrified Neil Young, in particular with the last track, its clear that Jason Isbell possesses a depth in his songwriting that resonates profoundly.
He skillfully navigates the boundaries of adulthood, tackling themes like nostalgia, myth, and the delicate balance between love and personal growth. Throughout the album, Isbell’s maturity shines through as he explores the complexities of fully loving someone while learning to love oneself.
“Weathervanes” was recorded at Nashville’s esteemed Blackbird Studio and features Isbell’s Grammy-winning band, the 400 Unit, who bring their undeniable talent and chemistry to each track. Special guests, including Grammy winner Amanda Shires and acclaimed harmonicist Mickey Raphael, add additional layers of brilliance to the album, further enhancing its sonic tapestry.
In addition to the album release, Isbell treated fans to the Sam Jones-directed documentary film, “Jason Isbell: Running with Our Eyes Closed.” The film offers an intimate look into Isbell’s musical evolution and creative process while delving into his difficult childhood, struggles with addiction, and the cathartic power of his music. Isbell’s authenticity and candor shine through, providing a rare glimpse into the inner workings of an artist driven by passion and personal growth.
“Weathervanes” is a sublime masterpiece that solidifies Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s status as one of the most accomplished acts in modern country music. This album serves as a testament to the importance of self-reflection, cherishing loved ones, and embracing the journey rather than fixating on the destination. With its rich storytelling, impeccable musicianship, and profound lyricism, “Weathervanes” is a must-listen for anyone seeking a heartfelt and soul-stirring musical experience.
1. Death Wish
2. King of Oklahoma
3. Strawberry Woman
4. Middle Of The Morning
5. Save The World
6. If You Insist
7. Cast Iron Skillet
8. When We Were Close
10. Vestavia Hills
11. White Beretta
12. This Ain’t It
*All songs written and produced by Jason Isbell.
Additional production by Matt Pence on tracks 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10.