Son Volt The Search

Son Volt The Search
When Jay Farrar resurrected Son Volt for 2005’s Okemah and the Melody of Riot it was shocking to find out he was the only surviving member. For their previous three releases Son Volt seemed like a band, not necessarily just an outlet for one songwriter and his muse. However, all that changed with Okemah, an album that was good in so far as it showed a passion and ferocity Farrar’s character had lacked since Son Volt’s 1995 debut, Trace. By no means did the album come anywhere near that level but it did prove that Farrar still had game. Fast forward two years and Son Volt 2.0 are back with an expanded line-up and, somewhat surprisingly, an album that is definitely the best Son Volt album since the first some 12 years ago. The decision to experiment and step away from formula can be seen as the catalyst for this. The addition of keyboardist Derry deBorja has changed the sound of the band. Organs, pianos and synths complement the arrangements, which aren’t always straightforward to begin with, in a way that until now hasn’t been explored. There are points on the album where the band step onto previously uncharted ground, something that may leave long-time fans feeling like this isn’t alt-country anymore, and it isn’t. Instead, this feels more like a rebirth for a band that have finally found their feet again by not trying to relive past glories but instead by creating new ones. (Sony BMG)