American Central Dust

American Central Dust
Composer: Son Volt
Conductor: Son Volt
Label: Rounder
Release Date: 2009-07-22
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Jay Farrar has been doing the same thing for close to 15 years now, but there's not much room for error. What is the risk of the alt-country singer — prettiness forever? When you sing like Farrar, whose voice one detractor memorably likened to an "electric can opener on low-battery," is there even that? So, judging by his whirr-not-purr and some early lyrics ("May the wind take your troubles away"), 2005's regrouped Okemah and the Melody of Riot was a small miracle. Anti-Bush tunes and a sitar didn't make him interesting, but his tune sense improved. The Search (from 2007) kept him afloat, if somewhat less memorably. That brings us to American Central Dust — "dust" not as in "Cocaine and Ashes" or "Dust of Daylight," but dusting off the same weary croak, gentle soft-to-loud dynamics, and inoffensive chord changes. The yawning "Cocaine" and by-the-numbers "Down to the Wire" still research Springsteen's unplugged territory without finding a thing, but at least this one starts with a bang: The plaintively pretty "Dynamite" opens the album, staked on a lovely accordion melody. Wilco 3.0, try as they might with their increasing trend toward "dad-rock," will never be as normal as this.

Scroll to read more San Antonio News articles
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.