As a quality contributing past member of the Drive-By Truckers, I have always held the bar higher for Jason Isbell compared to some of his Americana peers. This may or may not be fair but I always thought that his past performance would be a good predictor of his future records. So far, he still hasn’t “nailed it” and his third record, Here We Rest, is an uneven affair. Opening track “Alabama Pines” is a solid tale from Isbell with a likable chorus, while “Codeine” has a sincerity to it that completely engages the listener. Other tracks never quite go the distance and do not have a very memorable factor to them. This still shouldn’t bother longtime fans because Jason Isbell can still sell a song and keep you enthralled with his lyrics and smooth delivery. The key to Here We Rest is still Isbell’s strong backing band The 400 Unit, that is responsible for the album’s rich sound. Jason Isbell is a talented musician and there are many highlights on Here We Rest but overall the record is not consistent, which ultimately does not allow it to reach its full potential. The key thing about Jason Isbell is that with his talent his next great record could be just around the corner!
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony