Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Son Volt

The Search

2007-03-23

There couldn’t be a better name for this album than the one Jay Farrar picked. “The Search” is all about ambling through America, making note of all the things that are wrong and searching for some deeper meaning—some ray of hope. Note that the album is not called “The Answer”. Son Volt doesn’t have it all figured out. They’re not endorsing a particular agenda to make modern life a better thing. These songs ask questions. They point out flaws. They say, half-embarrassed, ‘This is the America we live in.’ Farrar leaves it up to the listener to ask the implied question: ‘And shouldn’t we do something about it?’ This is not a call-to-action indictment of today’s society. It’s more like a reminder of how things really are. It’s like Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” Sinclair wanted to clean up the meat-packing industry, so he pointed out the rat droppings in people’s food. Farrar’s “The Search” points out the figurative rat droppings in modern American life. #1 Kind of a space-filler, just loose instrumentation with the line “feels like driving around in a slow hearse” repeated ad infinitum. #6 No Play — “shit” ::arthur longrapids::

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