Music » Music Stories

Drive-By Truckers

A Blessing and a Curse (New West)

by

comment
The Drive-By Truckers have already established themselves as one of the best rock acts of the last half-decade; picking a favorite from their last three albums — 2001's Southern Rock Opera, 2003's Decoration Day and 2004's Dirty South — is a fool's errand. Yet the new A Blessing and a Curse may be the Truckers' most enduring album yet. Not as yoked to the Southern-fried, country-rock sound of previous discs, Curse features several gut-wrenching paeans that stand among the best in the band's catalog. Mike Cooley threatens to steal the show on "Gravity's Gone" with lyrics such as "Cocaine rich comes quick, and that's why the small dicks have it all," while Jason Isbell's "Daylight" is the album's biggest reach, an unabashed pop ballad with a whiff of the '80s in the B3 organs. But coming on the heels of Patterson Hood's downbeat ode to a friendship beyond repair ("Goodbye"), the hopeful "Daylight" shines bright. Indeed, Curse is full of bittersweet moments and eventual acceptance, themes epitomized by Hood's album-closing classic, "A World of Hurt." With a tears-in-your-beer lope, Hood embraces the maxim "to love is to feel pain." It's haunting and irresistible.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.