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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Southern Rock Opera

Drive-By Truckers

2001

Wikipedia

Southern Rock Opera

Rating

2.87

Votes

3480

Reviews

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1

If you took a group of good-ole-boys, fed them nothing but Skynyrd, Tom Petty, and the Eagles from the time they were born until they dropped out of high school halfway through their sophomore year, gave them 2 weeks worth of free music lessons, and then locked them in a studio with three half barrels of Busch and a brick of cocaine - this album would be the result. It's trash (a fuckin' hour and a half of trash) - minus Plastic Flowers and Cassie's Brother, which were okay (but still derivative). Oh - and did I mention Skynyrd? Because they did. Like probably 40 times. At least it was 90+ minutes long . . . .

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4

This album is massive in both literal size and in scope. I feel like I could write three reviews: one about the sound, one about the Lynyrd Skynyrd metanarrative, and one about the attempt to rehabilitate the Southern image in the popular imagination. I'll focus on the last, because it's the most interesting. It's a noble attempt, and they mostly succeed, but they try a little to hard to have it both ways (i.e. "the duality of the Southern Thing"), and while the effort is respectable, I don't love that there are no less than three songs that lionize or at least soften George Fucking Wallace. Sure, they're being ironic when they celebrate that "George Wallace stared them Yankees down," but it's a hell of a singable line that's no doubt sung by a certain subset of their fandom with gusto, a fact they well recognize themselves later on: "few saw beyond the rebel flag/And this applies not only to their critics and detractors/but also their fans and followers." Patterson Hood wants so badly to redefine what it means to be a Southern man, but he can't help but throw a bone to the peanut gallery he himself happily dismisses. I found myself respecting this album more and more as I listened to it, but ultimately it's got some fundamental flaws that it can't fully overcome. One note about the sound: It's damn good. Best track: Dead, Drunk and Naked

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4

A long, long album, but I really appreciated this deep-dive into Southern Rock and the mythos of Alabama. A lot of good tracks, like the one about George Wallace being welcomed to hell by the Devil himself, or the really sweet, almost Flaming Lips inspired ballad about the moments right before the Skynyrd plane crash. May not return to this as it's a hefty album, but it definitely deserves its place here I think.

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4

This was actually surprisingly good. The first few songs especially I liked. Then there's an interesting monologue about George Wallace and the perception of southerners by the rest of the country. It was pretty thoughtful, but then there's another song that says stuff like, "the south will rise again" so I dont really know what to think about these guys haha.

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4

While this isn’t something I’ll likely listen to again anytime soon, I do appreciate how evocative and thought provoking some of their lyrics are. “Three Great Alabama Icons” definitely lead me on a rabbit hole of researching the band and their perspective on things. I don’t agree with the notion that we should praise George Wallace for eventually coming around to a perspective that I think should be the bare minimum for a decent human being, but they did present their perspective fairly and honestly & it definitely made me think - which is what good political/protest music does.

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3

Good musically and the concept behind the album was great but the singer wasn’t my favorite.

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3

Taking over where Lynyrd Skynyrd left off. This album has a really interesting concept and I like the difference in the two singers voices (although I prefer the one that sounds like he gargles nails every morning). This has some truly rocking tunes on it and I think I’m going to revisit it at some point. My only complaint is that it is a bit long but honestly I didn’t mind. Favorite song: Ronnie and Neil Least favorite song: Moved

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3

Are you getting ready for a lengthy stay at a nearby state or federal penitentiary and not sure how to prep? Southern Rock Opera has you covered. So, close your eyes, turn it up and get baptized. This is a straight-up southern-culture record and these are some of my takeaways in no particular order: Skynyrd | Grit | Racist Governors | Cheap Cocaine | Stale Beer | Ronnie Van Zant | Sweat-Stained Trucker Hats | Southern Pride | Shady Shit | Tanktops (No Bras) | Roscoe P. Coltrane | Rock and Roll | Humidity | Skynyrd | Whiskey | Bushy Beards | Skynyrd | Good Ole [fill-in-the-blank] | Skynyrd | Airplane Crash The more I listened to this, the less I liked it, but the more I appreciated it. Individually, each song is forgettable but as a package it forms a picture of southern life and rock and roll. The album is a collection of anecdotes, explanations and accounts centering around Lynyrd Skynyrd. Two songs stand out to connect the disparate parts: Three Great Alabama Icons and Angels and Fuselage. Through loose narratives, bass-y guitar riffs and southern drawl crooning, DBT has created a window into the soul of the unapologetic south. Southern Rock Opera is like required reading, Sunday school, cafeteria food or Cracker Barrel... if you have your way, and you've done it once, you'll never do it again. So, a big 'thank you' to Drive-By Truckers for making this. It's not for everyone. But, if you’re southern-culture-curious, love Skynyrd, Alabama or have family in prison, you're gonna love Southern Rock Opera.

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3

1st song: Sounds like a collaboration between Jack White, Beck, and Cake. 2nd song: very repetitive riff, but I don't hate it. It works for the genre. Getting some Tom Waits mixed with Skynyrd influences. 3rd song: Yeah this is just a Skynyrd cover band that branched out and made their own album. I don't hate it. 4th song: Not vibing with it. Too boring. 5th song: Feel like I should be in a trashy backwoods bar. All the Skynyrd is gone. Only left with trashy southern rock. 6th song: final song I'm able to listen to. Can't handle any more Southern Rock Overall, pretty meh. If you like Southern Rock, pretty solid. I really thought the first song had a lot of potential. I liked how it was presented, and it reminded me of The Raconteurs. If Skynyrd is pinnacle southern rock, this is a 6.5. It's safe, doesn't try to do anything new, and a bit redundant at times. Honestly, I just want to listen to The Ballad of Curtis Loew now and not this band. After going back to Skynyrd, the biggest difference is the diversity of instruments and sick riffs. Upon instigation I have listened to more songs. 7: okay, this is much better than the last few songs. I'm definitely getting some early day Tom Waits here, and I dig Tom Waits. This singer needs to be more prominent. 8: hell yeah. This is what I was looking for from the first song. That storytelling kind of song. I went ahead and listened to the last song on the album and I really liked it. I think my review hasn't changed. I think if they took out half of the songs on this album and left them on the chopping block, you'd have a really solid album. Too many meh to bad songs to make it better than a 6.5

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1

Sounds like a parody in places. I know too little about USA history to get too deep into the lyrics, and the vocalists' voices didn't motivate me to listen more intently. Musically, I found it dull, and everything instrument blended into the others.

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1

This ain't no southern rock. This is watered down Kid Rock. This album sets some sort of record for most George Wallace shout outs, which is....something? Stick with '70's Skynyrd instead.

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5

I went down a deep rabbit hole on Lynyrd Skynrd because of this and I think that's what makes music so great, that it can teach as well as entertain

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5

Trying to get enjoyment out of country/western music is usually like trying to bucket dry rivers, but this one was great. Husky vocals, good music, tells a great story.

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5

Love it catchy

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5

Excellent. Remember their name from a poster at university, but never heard their music. An unexpected treat!

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5

Have this a very solid two and a half listens through and can now safely say this is my new favourite alt country rock concept album about the rise and fall of Lynyrd Skynyrd. A very very solid album.

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5

Modern southern rock classic

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4

4/27 A country epic, at an hour and a half it drags on at some points, but it does draw a compelling narrative of life down south, growing up in the 70s and 80s, some history of the area and the groups that influenced them, all wrapped up in some hard, southern rock. Standout Tracks: Days Of Graduation, Birmingham, Three Alabama Icons, Moved, Let There Be Rock, Plastic Flowers On The Highway, Cassie's Brother, Shut Up And Get On The Plane, Angels And Fuselage

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4

Banda muito interessante e conceito do disco também. Referências a Lynyrd Skynyrd e Neil Young, referências claras. Vale ouvir os discos mais novos, pareceram muito bons

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4

Bom album de country rock, jamais esperava uma opera contry rock!

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4

QUe ótima descoberta (pra mim). Rock excelente, bem tocado, músicas muito boas! A mescla de instrumentos country/folk compô muito bem o conjunto. Pra ouvir mais vezes

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4

This album surprised me. Very much an introspection into the stereotypes of the south and the " the duality of the southern thing." Thoughtful lyrics and some good jams too.

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4

Veryyyy southern rock. Dig the political vibes to this also.

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4

Like this. Was going to pass but thought i would give it a try and glad i did

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4

maneiro southern

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4

Love this album, love DBTs.

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4

Aangename verrassing! Ruwe rock en zeer gevarieerd. Blijvertje!

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4

Nice load of southern rock. Bit much a times

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4

Wow, what an interesting project! I've heard the album these guys released in 2016, "What It Means" is such an incredible track, so I knew to expect some politics on here, and they delivered. The vocals at times hit me like a southern Mark Kozelek. I love the sometimes brazen, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, exploration of the southern psyche (including the racism), which is often emblematically personified by artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd. This album started so strong, with a handful of genuinely fantastic tracks in the first half. Were this a single album (rather than a double), it would get a 4.5 from me. But I can't deny that the second half didn't reach the same heights for me; very little stuck out on the back end aside from the closer. But still, this is incredibly ambitious and absolutely deserving of attention and a spot on this list. Favorite tracks: The Three Great Alabama Icons (wow), Dead Drunk and Naked, Days of Graduation, 72, Let There Be Rock, Angels and Fuselage. Album cover: Love this art style, and loved finding out that they maintained this on so many of their albums. I dig this one a lot. 4/5

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4

Poderoso disco de rock sureño. Me apunto el grupo...

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4

Was big into these guys when this came out. prefer decoration day. but this one is good too.

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4

I’m not so sure about this one—but I’ll be generous cause it seems more enjoyable than I normally find this genre

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4

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Also offers up a glimpse to the duality of the Southern states of the US. BT: Ronnie and Neil, Guitar Man Upstairs, Women Without Whiskey

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4

A sprawling southern classic.

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4

Been meaning to listen to this band for a while. Been way into this kinda sound for a little bit now. I dig the concept of this record and how well they executed it

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4

Terrific album. I had listened to this a little while living in Austin in the early 2000s, but I totally did not appreciate it at the time. The story of this album really captures the tension between the good parts of the South and all the bad. I love the storytelling and the connections to Skynyrd and Young. Will definitely put this and other Drive-By Truckers albums in my regular rotation.

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4

I never considered these guys southern rock though they clearly play southern rock. Just, decades after the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Jason Isbell was in DBT for a few years but was not on this particular record Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley are the primary DBT guys. Patterson's father is David Hood who was the bass player in the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who played on countless albums recorded there in the 60s to the 80s. Also known as The Swampers. Here's a great playlist of songs the Swampers played on https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3fJ30XwyRO5kPAvvKzgkWT?si=0b1f4e56766a46cb

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4

Different but fine

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4

Muy bueno, aunque no he podido encontrarlo entero. Rock.

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4

Tenen aquesta manera tan peculiar i personal d'enfocar el rock sureny barrejat amb el rock alternatiu que tots els seus discos són inconfundiblement seus, a més que es fa difícil no disfrutar-los. Com a falta, sempre sonen una mica lineals, sense grans tonades ni singles... però és que ells són així

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4

Wow this is great! I will definitely listen to more of there work.

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4

a generic rock album at first but as i listened it grew on me and the southern twang combined with the story told with the songs makes it different from the rest

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4

It's good-humored blend of southern rock, ranging from cow-punk to Southern boogie, from Tom Petty to the Rolling Stones, from "the Band" to Neil Young. (7/10) Favourite Track: Zip City

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4

Loved this double album now adding it to my album rotation . Great guitar, lyrics, Vibe. Took me awhile to get into it but 1/2 way through the first album i was hooked.

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4

I'm a big fan of DBT - not many people come close to their lyrics and the stories they tell. But for me, this album (like most of their others) contains just a few too many mid-tempo chuggers that all go on for a couple of minutes too long.

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4

Im gonna keep listening to this one

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4

An absolutely mental concept double album interweaving the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd with that of a fictional band. The heavier rock numbers are great and when this album clicks its superb but with 90 minutes playing time there is a bit of excess baggage to sift through. Could they have achieved their goal on a single disk 50 to 60 minutes album? I think so and it would have turned this solid Southern rock epic into a classic. Regardless, this is a hugely ambitious undertaking for band and listener. I get that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. But I bloody loved it. Well most of it anyway. 4/5

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4

I like southern rock a lot, but had never listened to DBT before and was pleasantly surprised. Only complaint is how long it was, so only able to give it one listen. 4

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4

Äger rätt hårt!

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4

Bangerzz

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4

Great band.

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4

i kind of hated the first track and thought it boded poorly for the album but,,, i actually ended up really liking it. the three great alabama icons / wallace package was DOPE

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4

A love letter to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Southern living. It does them justice and 'three great alabama icons' is a classic.

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4

What a pleasant surprise. This is a lot better than I expected and much better than Lynard Skynard deserve.

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4

4.5 stars. Really great listen. Sums up classic southern rock in a really neat package without being corny or cliche.

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4

Sprawling, ambitious and yet I feel like the songwriting never tapers off. Essentially a meditation upon southern identity viewed through the lens of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash - feels like the hardscrabble obverse to Randy Newman's more arch and mannered 'Good Ol' Boys'. 'Ronnie and Neil' is one of the best rock songs I've heard in a good while. There's another track that kicks off by talking about seeing Blue Oyster Cult on acid, aged 14 - excellent.

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4

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I was a bit in and out of it, but the parts that punched through were really interesting. And kind of naive in an early 2000s kind of way? But the kind of heart in the right place, struggling with that Southern identity that I kind of identify with having grown up in the South. I will be listening to this again.

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4

Concept album for the agea

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4

Honestly, was very worried this was going to be a super conservative rock album, was pleasantly surprised.

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4

Looooved this! What a nice surprise. Not every song was great but the majority were really fun country/rock. Will listen again for sure.

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4

Mellow

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4

A country rock opera? I called bullshit on SF Sorrow influencing Pete Townshend's Tommy but am glad to let SF Sorrow take the credit for influencing this one. lol It's long so I only listened to it once and didn't have time to sort through the lyrics. There is a lot of good jamming and some good ole southern harmonies. Very guitar dominated rock but with messy long sleeve shirts rather than messy long hair.

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4

Good, fun rock album

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4

Enjoyed this album mostly, it had a couple songs I really liked

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4

Country silver

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4

Not sure what happened to my previous rating but I really enjoyed this just a little lomg

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4

so good!

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3

I was fully expecting to hate this - looking at the cover it gives off country hipster vibes and I really wasn't in the mood. But instead it's pretty good country rock, doesn't seem to be any hipster shit involved, more like someone trying to recreate 70s southern rock, which is cool. Big fuzzy guitars, has that country flavour in places without being overbearing (the country parts kinda remind me of Johnny Cash, see "guitar man upstairs"), and they have a good ear for choruses. Only major gripe is: does this really need to go for an hour and a fucking half? Jesus H. Christ, are you serious? This shouldn't be more than 45min. Even after about 25 I understood what it was about (not the cultural references, which are neither here nor there to me), and it wasn't offering up anything new. 3/5 all the same - would be a 4 if not for the length.

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3

Südstaatenrock, aus Alabama. Typisch Rockig, Mit Country Einflüssen.

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3

Would like to listen again, seemed like a cool idea but 90mims was just a bit too long for today.

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3

'Opera' is an appropriate label for this album. It's lengthy, and I often found myself feeling that length. The musicianship on this album is often noteworthy, and a number of the tracks, including 'Zip City', are stand-outs. That said, I can't say I loved this album, nor do I think I'll find myself listening to this again anytime soon. Worth an initial listen if you're wanting to hear a slightly alternative take on southern rock.

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3

I respect the craftsmanship here, especially for a band so indie and meager in its economics at the time of production. I just don't think I buy into the myth of southern rock enough for this to really click with me though. I'm also not sure about the idea of northerners only thinking the South is racist because of George Wallace, but on the other hand there's a song here about the devil welcoming a freshly dead Wallace to Hell, so it almost balances out.

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3

I appreciate the ambition and the idea of a southern rock opera but it gets a bit old for me. I know a few songs by them though that I do like but I was unfamiliar with this one.

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3

As I listened, I kept wondering if this album and band were pro-Alabama, or not. Maybe it strikes the balance of criticism with love? Hard to tell, although I did like a few of the stories, and disliked the repetitive mention of Lynyrd Skynyrd. This was country rock that I could listen to again.

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3

It’s good for what it it, just not my cup of tea.

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3

I’m glad I gave this a shot. I’ve heard a song or two by DBT but never a full album. Guitar sounds great, awesome musicianship!

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3

I have always found this band exhausting, so I was dismayed to find that it's 90 minutes of music. I did find the monologues quite compelling, which surprised me, usually that kind of thing doesn't work. But, more than ready for the album to be over by the end.

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3

I actually enjoyed the song that came on from a different album more than this one. This was another one that I found okay but not really compelling.

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3

Alt country like Devo is alt folk. Really good concept album.

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3

2 stars for sound, 4 stars for lyrics and content. Generic raspy southern rock, with a true rock opera story about the birth and death of lynyrd skynyrd, perceptions of the south, political, moral, and racial issues

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3

Otro disco que no está completo en Spotify y tampoco en YouTube Music, menos mal que la vida se abre camino. Ha sido un descubrimiento, me gusta la Americana music pero no soy experto y se me escapan muchas cosas. Esto tiene mucho de Lynyrd Skynyrd y Neil Young. Recomendable, trataré de oir más cosas suyas.

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3

Entertaining southern rock with some conscious lyrical content

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3

It was enjoyable

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3

I thought I'd like this, but it got a little repetitive.

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3

Rock sureño

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3

I've heard a few southern rock groups but not the drive-by truckers (or maybe I have and didn't realize it). I found myself actually enjoying the more talky songs than the actual music ones especially The Three Great Alabama Icons. Love this album cover too with the spooky owl.

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3

OK - It’s a good sound

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3

Kolejna pozycja ktorej nie udalo sie dorwac na spotifaju, wiec ratujac sie jutubowymi zrodlami, w tym wypadku jutub muzyka odwalil ladna robote tworzac plejliste z wszystkimi 20 trakami w poprawnej kolejnosci, widac ducha czasu platformy, samej bandy calkowicie nie kojarze, tytul albumu rowniez nic nie mowi, a jedynie napawa niepokojem przed kkonowa opera, jesli mialbym do czegos porownac ten seansik, to do odpalenia radia X z san adreasa i przemierzania na krosowcu krain kurczakow i wsiokow, kawalki sa bardzo rowne pod wzgledem tego jak sa grane, 3 gitarki, basik, drumy, z czego ten basior jest mocno wyrazny, tylko na jednym traku slyszalem harmonijke, a spodziewalem sie, ze jednak country influencje beda tutaj o wiele mocniejsze, poludniowy rock, to jak dla mnie polaczenie przystepnego grania, ktore moze cieszych ucho kazdego w radiu, czy podczas sluchawkowego odsluchu, z narracja liryczna podobna do tej z bluesa, czyli nacisk na storyteling najczesciej z elementami dotyczacymi samego autora/spiewajacego, bo nawet mozna szukac wiekszego konceptu southernowej rokowej operetki, jako historii zycia bandy czy jej czlonkow, mocno naszpikowanej alkoholem, problemami z nim zwiazanymi, narkotymkami, muzyka, policja, nieszczesliwa miloscia, oderwaniem od rzeczywistosci, czyli co tu robic, jesli nic nie ma sensu, zwlaszcza na poludniu, bo poludnie to poludnie, takie glowne themy pojawiajace sie na tym poteznym double lpku, po ostatnim dosc przekombinowanym punkcie na liscie, przyjemnie bylo posluchac czegos prostszego, a rownie zadawalajacego, nie bede rozpisywal o poszczegolnyc trakach, bo musialbym znowu jutubowac plejke, a i tak nic nie dodam, ale wsrod bardzo zyciowych poludniowych kawalkow, znalazloby sie cos z czym mozna sie konektowac

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3

rocky parts were good, too hillbilly overall

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3

Rocked pretty hard. I also liked some of the songs’ lyrics because they felt very real, but the pretty heavy political messages were also challenging while listening to it only in the background

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3

Good Southern Rock!

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3

This is a long album. I like the genre, but the songs are mostly unmemorable. 0RS

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3

A Little Rock country…..

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3

I was going to gloss over this and glad I did not. Super enjoyable to put on and do other things. Hopefully that is not a put down...it isn't in my book.

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3

Did this really need to be a double album? It was fine. I was bored while listening.

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3

solider Rock

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3

Very interesting. I enjoyed the dialogue incorporated - reminded me of Slint. I’d definitely play this in the middle of a desert or somet

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3

Good rock album. Cool concept. Not a huge fan of the guys voice though. Long album.

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3

I get the point of the talking sections but I feel like they distract from the pretty decent music of the album. Enjoyed the duality of the vocals.

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3

Pure southern rock energy, a must-listen for fans of the genre.

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3

it was good even if im not a big fan of the genre

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3

19. No meio da palha, as minhas calças fazem um batimento típico dos inseguros. Verifico de forma frenética as minhas notificações, como se de um advérbio de modo se tratassem. Somos todos rafeiros, se puxarmos o tempo bem atrás. MotA: "Three Great Alabama Icons" "Bobby went out for a joy ride with my best girl"

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3

Great road trip record, rocks hard

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3

Liked it more than I expected but still not a big fan of southern rock. I wish the vocals would steer away from the over the top southern drawl a bit more. When they did, I found myself enjoying it much more.

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3

Some good toe tappers in there but too many Skynard references.

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3

No Can imagine this being played in an American bar in the mid west. Hints of ZZ top, Guns and Roses Alright but not for me

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3

Strange album, a bit too spoken word for me. Not terrible though.

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3

Lyrically and musically good, let down by average vocals. Credit for being socially aware.

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3

It’s fine I guess.

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3

Nog niet heel goed kunnen luisteren maar wat ik hoorde maakte me af en toe wrl nieuwsgierig naar meer. Al was de stem van de zanger ook weer niet altijd je-van-het. Beetje een Hillbilly-Lemmy.

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3

Wel een lange zit, maar vond dit best goed te pruimen.

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3

Prima klassieke Southern Rock, ik mag dit wel. Heb zelfs de band wel eens live zien spelen.

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3

Not bad. But I can't recall any memorable songs. Actually, Angels and Fuselage is awesome.

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3

Feel-good country music. I liked the mood of this album

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3

Had not heard of this band or heard their music. I like it. I enjoy quite a bit of what is usually categorized as "Southern rock," but I don't spend a ton of time in that subgenre because, like country music can to my ears, it can sound too similar to itself. This has nice doses of edge and darkness at times, and, dang, some real fine musicians plying their craft (those guitarists, and that drummer, for example - wow!). I imagine I'll come back to this one for another listen.

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3

3/5 Not really extraordinary, sounds like the radio

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3

didn't love it as much as it's hyped

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3

Started, but never finished. Lost interest about halfway through, so that shows how much I liked it

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3

30/11/2021 - 29/03/2022 Leggendo il titolo di quest'album mi aspettavo di trovare al suo interno becere canzoni che glorificassero supremazia bianca e schiavismo, per poi piacevolmente scoprire che questo doppio disco, che deve la sua esistenza al crowdfunding, è proprio pensato per chi, come me, vede degli stati del sud USA solo quanto fatto passare dalla cultura mainstream. Prima di questo disco, infatti, del South conoscevo "Sweet Home Alabama" come colonna sonora di atti incestuosi o razzisti, "Furore" di Steinbeck (finito di leggere proprio mentre esploravo questo disco) e la bandiera confederata. Sono sicuro che molti di voi siano nella stessa situazione in questo momento - d'altronde a chi verrebbe di ricercare la storia del sud USA, specialmente tra il pubblico italiano, se non a Southerners stanchi dei pregiudizi come i Drive-By Truckers? Ricordate l'utopia di Sufjan Stevens di comporre un disco per ognuno dei 50 Stati degli USA? Ecco, "Southern Rock Opera", in mancanza di un candidato migliore, mette l'ipoteca sull'Alabama, togliendo un po' di lavoro al fin troppo prolifico "Subaru": così come nei dischi "patriottici" di quest'ultimo, infatti, i Drive-By Truckers si imbarcano in un disordinato tour su quello che è / è stato l'Alabama e sulla cultura del South in generale, focalizzandosi su luci e ombre (la ricorrente "duality") dell'una e dell'altra cosa, ma perdendosi nel provare a farle passare attraverso la storia di una band immaginaria che non si chiama Lynyrd Skynyrd ma che fa le stesse identiche cose del gruppo Southern per eccellenza - un artificio narrativo davvero innecessario, dettato forse da motivi di copyright ma comunque lontano dall'essere ben riuscito. Come anticipato, stiamo parlando di un doppio album che risulta lascamente suddiviso in un primo atto dedicato alle storie e alla storia dell'Alabama e in un secondo dedicato alle vicende dei Betamax Guillotine (leggesi Lynyrd Skynyrd). Il primo atto si apre con la storiella fine a se stessa ma comunque ben costruita di "Days Of Graduation" e prosegue con canzoni easy-going e carine, specialmente "Ronnie And Neil", dalle liriche a tratti iconiche (ma che si prestano, come poi riscontrato dagli stessi DBT ai loro concerti, a fraintendimenti che non sono in nessun modo colpa di chi quelle liriche le ha scritte), per raggiungere l'apice nella prosa di "Three Great Alabama Icons" (vera lezione di storia americana - rottura della quarta parete a parte - che mi ha aperto gli occhi sul vero obiettivo dei Drive-By Truckers, anche grazie alla buon'anima che ha scritto per essa ottime notazioni su Genius) e in "Zip City" (in cui l'esplosione di "Maybe it's a twenty-six mile drive..." suona come una presa di coscienza davvero commovente). Il secondo atto è molto più grande nelle ambizioni rispetto al primo ma non è altrettanto ben riuscito, eccetto che per il trittico finale che narra l'epilogo della storia dei Lynyrd Skynyrd "originali" (che, giusto per ricordarlo, non esponevano bandiere confederate ai loro shows come fanno i loro eredi), culminante nella struggente e cinematografica "Angels And Fuselage" ("I'm scared shitless of what's coming next" è un'affermazione brutalmente onesta). Tuttavia, per arrivare all'ottima canzone conclusiva, si passa attraverso canzoni dimenticabili non perché brutte, fatta eccezione per la pessima "Cassie's Brother", ma perché uniformi a quanto sentito fino a quel momento, e che quindi non catturano l'attenzione. Per la prima volta da quando mi sono imbarcato in questa "1001 albums you must hear before you die" challenge ho da dire qualcosa sul mixing: "Wallace" e "Moved" sono equalizzate in maniera estremamente piatta - non che avessero il potenziale per diventare grandi canzoni se mixate bene, altrettanto, però l'errore a mio avviso è evidente e costringe a distrarsi per alzare il volume, danneggiando l'esperienza di ascolto. Parlando strettamente di musica, invece, posso dire fieramente che "it's not my cup of tea". Alcuni passaggi, anche oltre a quelli citati sopra, mi sono piaciuti ma trovo il pattern delle canzoni abbastanza ripetitivo e non mi ci vedo a riascoltare questo disco per puro piacere, anche e soprattutto perché nelle liriche mi ci rispecchio davvero poco - resta da dire, però, che il Southern Rock (con le giuste distanze da posizioni strane su temi politici delicati) non è male come pensavo, anche se non ha molto da offrire dopo i primi ascolti. Grazie a questo ambizioso lavoro dei Drive-By Truckers, accompagnato da liner notes sintetiche ma illuminanti e piene di errori ortografici che forniscono un assist ai pregiudizi sull'Alabama, ora so come la pensava davvero chi ha scritto la famigerata "Sweet Home Alabama", quale triste fine ha fatto e in che controverso stato ha vissuto la sua breve vita - ciò non toglie che, approcciando una tale mole di materiale, mi aspettavo di uscirne più accresciuto nella conoscenza del South, e soprattutto con due o tre canzoni in più da ascoltare regolarmente. Purtroppo molto di quanto portato nel corso del disco a sostegno del fatto che l'Alabama non sia poi così un brutto posto è la solita, seppur sempre necessaria, richiesta di "non fare di tutta l'erba un fascio" - qualche insight storico in stile "Three Great Alabama Icons" in più avrebbe reso il disco molto più interessante e avrebbe portato argomenti più credibili a favore di un riscatto del South, a patto che ne rimangano altri oltre a quelli enunciati nel corso del disco. Will South rise again?

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3

Nice message, basic music.

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3

Well made southern rock with an actually somewhat interesting narrative

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3

Didn't finish disc 2 but this was pretty good, very ambitious. And I love a concept album.

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3

This album is an experience. I listened to the first few songs cold, no previous knowledge of the band or album. I couldn't get into it. So I gave it a day before trying again, but this time I researched a bit beforehand. I also read along with the lyrics as I listened to each song. Both of these things helped me appreciate the ambitious project that is SRO. From a songwriting perspective, there are so many interesting characters and great imagery, and overall I found it to be lyrically thought provoking. Though I get the stylistic choices here (I think), my personal preference would be for a more rhythmic as well as melodic approach to delivering those lyrics. For me, this is less of a casual listening album and more of one that I'll sit and give my full time and attention to from start to finish, like watching a movie. I like any album that can provide that kind of experience. Here's a snippet from a Stereogum article (for my own notes): "Throughout the album, Hood returns repeatedly to a concept he terms “the duality of the Southern thing,” his way of attempting to balance pride in his home with the worst parts of the region’s troubled history. By his own admission, Hood wasn’t always successful in this, which is part of the reason the band now rarely plays Opera track “The Southern Thing” in concert."

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3

Well, now THIS is interesting...

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3

"Southern Rock Opera" is the third album from Drive-By Truckers and it's their semi-autobiographical, magnum opus, double album. The album's musical story discusses how the band grew up in the South - especially Alabama - and touches on the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash that almost ended that band's career. This alternative country / southern rock album was financed by loans from friends and fans, to be released in 2001, but after the buzz of attention garnered at release by this amazing work, a record deal was struck to re-release the album in 2002. The quality of this album cannot be understated. The songwriting tells a beautiful story, intertwining southern charm, coming of age, and a hearty dose of rock music, that formed this band - the Drive-By Truckers. The music is overall soothing with some heavier parts sprinkled in, and I enjoyed listening to it while working. Seems like this band came out of nowhere with this album, but they definitely made a big splash.

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3

While I never heard of them before, I will admit their music is quite nice. Yet not exceptional enough for me to remember it come tomorrow.

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3

Huh. Well, I can honestly say this album is truly like nothing I've ever heard before. Very well thought out and aptly named. Though I have to admit, I don't really love this genre so though it's unfair, minus one star for that. Still, a solid listening experience. Fave track with Three Great Alabama Icons. This band really has a lot to say, and props for that. ❤️

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3

Interesting and unique concept that ends in a double album of average country rock that fails to leave an impression

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3

I like that the idea came from a screenplay, but the concept album didn’t translate well enough. Cool riffs and lyrics, but never anything exceptional.

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3

A little all over the place but not bad

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3

Some guitar riffs & a couple of tracks that have grown on me but I mostly didn’t enjoy this album, it’s just not my kind of music. But then ‘Angels & Fuselage’ came along & honestly it’s one of the most moving tracks I’ve ever heard.

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3

It was very tempting to give this a pass, since 1) I've always despised Lynyrd Skynrd 2) thought that Sweet Home Alabama as a rebuttle to Southern Man was racist 3) I've never liked Southern Rock and 4) I haven't been feeling too much love toward truckers this winter. But I decided that maybe I could just listen to it enough to trash it. The first song seemed to be poking fun at the south and at LS so I kept listening. The singer has a great voice that he can adapt to the different styles (country or rock), the song-writing was great, and there's some good guitar playing. The decision to reconstruct LS riffs was a nifty idea. They address my issues with Neil & Ronnie and provide a southern perspective on many of the hot topics that defined the human rights movement & still plague America today. Their sketch of George Wallace is similar to what I've read about him in the past. I would give this a 4 but but not without a deep dive into the lyrics first.

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3

Enjoyable album, not one of the best, but in the media

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3

Wasn't expecting much from this but enjoyed it. Goes on far too long though. I'd probably give it 3.5 if I could but doesn't quite tip towards 4 stars so it's a threebird from me.

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3

I did like it. I also felt like it needed to be concentrated on which I didn't do. Or maybe I was expecting more from it... not sure.

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3

As mentioned country isn’t my usual genre but this was quite listenable. 3*

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3

Southern rock/country-feeling album. Cool historical subject matter for a good part of the album. Three Great Alabama Icons was very interesting to listen to. The music itself just wasn’t that great, making this one not a huge desire to listen to over and over.

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3

The Truckers cover a lot of ground on this one, and until admirably near the end stay sonically engaging. I'm not convinced one way or another on the wisdom of the ground covered; The project is certainly a little sprawling, though.

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3

It's a good album. I'd have to say that I think it is just too much. Never heard of these guys before, but I enjoyed it. It just kept going on endlessly... 3/5.

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3

I really like DBTs and this may be sacrilege but this is really not their best. Individually, some of their best songs are here - Ronnie and Neil, Zip City, Women Without Whiskey - but it’s too long and too self consciously focused on explaining “the duality of the southern thing”. At their best (The Dirty South, for me) they do this through their excellent songwriting without needing to interrupt albums for extended monologues about George Wallace or whatever, which you’ll inevitably skip on repeat listens.

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3

Not really sure why this album is necessary prior to leaving this particular plane of existence, until "Three Great Alabama Icons", when the complicated history of Alabama politics is summarized. It is a well spoken summary. Drive-By Truckers is however, quite unique, but this album has difficulty generating or maintaining interest outside of a historical perspective. Perhaps "A History of the South" was a little too forward, but "Southern Rock Opera" would earn more curious listeners. The latter is certainly true, but the album delivers the former. Albums that carry chips on the shoulder and get really preachy without really delving into making the message profound tend to fall flat. Falling flat is what happens more often than not here, but for reasons of nostalgia and some familiarity with Southern culture, there's no lack of moments for a 'Hell yeah' or 'Damn straight' or 'Roll Tide!' from the southern accents in the vocals, to the overall feel that this is a southern rock album. One could fully expect this to be the background music in an Alabama bar that everyone talks over until "Free Bird" comes on. That being said, without a genuine interest in the subject of the opera, the album is mediocre at best, nothing to be disappointed with or upset about. It is Southern Rock in its most recognized presentation, and it is nicely performed, but that is it --- the promise of a Southern Rock opera is made good on, but maybe it was a clever excuse for the album's demanding length at being a double-album.

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3

I wasn't really in the mood for yet another double album today, especially 90 minutes of generic Southern rock by a band whose name sounds like a parody of generic Southern rock bands. But you know what, they kinda won me over. 'Three Great Alabama Icons' was the track that piqued my interest; it's more of a history lesson than a song. From then on I paid more attention to the lyrics, did some research and realised that this is an opera *about* Southern rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd in particular - plus attitudes towards the Deep South etc). After that it became much more engrossing, and it's arguably the most fully realised 'concept album' that's come up so far.

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3

Its a cool concept but 93 minutes is a bit much.

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3

Rock sureño

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3

I thought I hated this one but listened to the lyrics across the whole album and ended up liking this more than I thought I would. I'm glad I gave it a listen.

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3

I appreciate the effort that went into writing an hour and a half worth of songs, but the songs themselves were just not for me. I am not a southerner, so I didn't get some of the references in this. And I don't really like Skynyrd either. Anyway, I respect the guys for trying something interesting

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3

This was good but could easily have been trimmed down a bit.

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2

Not my bag at all

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2

Some songs were decent rock, others were strangely just talking with guitar backup. Not enough rock to make me like the country.

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2

Just can’t get into this. It’s like store brand skynnard

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2

Es hört sich ja gut an und alles, aber ein 90min album. my my hey hey 2

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2

Some exploration of Alabama's racially charged history

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2

i really like country music but more pop-country...less so this. I'd probably like listening to this live in a dive bar in Nashville but that's about it.

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2

Didn't love it

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2

There's an edge lyrically that I very much appreciate, but the honky-tonk is just too much for me. I find it difficult to get through without wearing a cowboy hat; however, I understand the appeal.

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2

Just not something I'm interested in listening to. I can appreciate the influences and the extensive project, but not for me

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2

not sure if ill make it through this...

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2

Erster Punkt für den Bandnamen . Das Genre mag ich grundsätzlich, kannte ein anderes Album von denen und war er wartungsvoll. Irgendwie kriegt es mich dann aber nicht so richtig...

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2

Musically a bit too samey for me, even though the lyrical themes are interesting.

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2

It was okay. Got repetitive.

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2

not bad

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2

kinda wack. Like they had a decent sound but there was no gusto.

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2

Although they are a pioneer in their landscape of genre bending narative based music, this album comes across way too on the nose. Subtlety was not a word they thought of throughout the writing process. Nothing is left to imagination. It's basically an entire album apologizing for the south, and them saying "but we're not like that". It doesn't do much to explain the situation, give any insight into what this lifestyle looks like, or really anything other than "My version of this isn't everyone's version". Musically, it was boring as shit. Just another generic rock band from the late 90's

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2

I got through the first disc and stopped. This album is not offensive. It could be on in the background, but I would never choose to listen to it again. Frankly I didn’t listen to the second disc so I could have more time to explore more White Stripes albums and Bob Dylan songs (80th bday!). This is more a statement about how much I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s White Stripes album and my lasting admiration for Mr. Dylan.

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2

Didn’t finish - too long and bleh

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2

So apparently this is a bit of a concept album, with a complex story that close listening would reveal in a rewarding way. I didn't listen to it closely. I thought part-way through that \"I should pay more attention to the lyrics.\" But I must confess I didn't. This album probably deserved better, even though its not really my style.

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2

A lot of distracting spoken word, didn’t make it thru.

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2

Nope

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2

I don't dislike it at the normal 2 star level, but the problem is, if you're going to do 90 minutes, you at least have to have a few songs that GRAB you, which this doesn't have. It just goes on and on and on remaining passable but never great.

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Avevo grosse aspettative per questo album a giudicare dal titolo e la copertina. Purtroppo le mie aspettative erano mediamente mal riposte. Capisco cosa volevano fare i Drive-By Truckers con questo album e in qualche modo simpatizzo pure. L'idea di ripercorrere la storia della musica southern dal punto di vista dei Lynyrd Skynyrd è sicuramente originale e in qualche modo mi fanno simpatia, anche per la sfiga, considerando che dicono di aver registrato questo album durante una heat wave senza aria condizionata né ventilatori dalle 6 di sera alle 6 di mattina per diversi giorni e l'album alla fine è stato rilasciato il 12 settembre 2001. Il problema è che secondo me si sono lanciati chiaramente in qualcosa di più grande di loro, non si possono reggere 90 minuti e passa di disco con canzoni southern rock abbastanza banali, tra l'altro con tre chitarristi che onestamente sembrano uno e mezzo. L'ascolto non dico che è stato spiacevole ma più volte ho avuto la sensazione infantile da viaggio in macchina coi genitori, tipo "Ma quanto manca??". Ho seguito gran parte dei testi avendo intuito che erano abbastanza centrali ma li ho trovati, anche quelli, abbastanza mediocri. Sicuramente c'è anche una distanza culturale per cui mi riesce difficile apprezzare i temi di questo album, magari se fossi stato un fan accanito del southern rock mi sarei esaltato. Purtroppo per me la simpatia non basta in questo caso e dubito fortemente che lo riascolterò, magari me lo ricorderò ma non lo riascolterò.

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2

Twijfelgeval. Op zich best te verdragen, maar oh, wat braaf. En die stem moet je ook maar kunnen hebben.

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2

Begon veel belovend, maar vond het toch maar saai uiteindelijk

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2

// Favs: Days of Graduation Score: Strong 2

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2

Musically fine, and I really like the gritty solos, but that's about it.

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2

I think some of the melodies and lyrics are pretty cool, but overall it was just a long country-rock album. Got pretty bored by the end of first half. No stand-out tracks for me.

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I don't feel like spending one and a half hour listening to anyone called the Drive-By Truckers making a rock opera to be honest. But it's not that bad. "Three Great Alabama Icons" actually really explains the theme of this album. And reveals the reasons and prejudice I had when I got this album, and shows why it was completely invalid. Interesting album. 3 eh, still a 2, it's too long and uninteresting.

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2

Did nothing for me: generic and repetitive and way too long.

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almost 1.5 hours of redneck whining... surprisingly, a couple of awesome songs found here

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2

One of the longest rock albums I’ve listened to. Feels like a homage to southern rock bands, mainly skynryd. The songs are ok sometimes and other times they’re nothing special. They can rock and they can also bore. The album was too long. 5.2/10

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2

Not for me.

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This kind of reminds me of a band of dudes in their 40s who casually get together from time to time and play for a town or state fair. Just pretty textbook bland southern rock lol. 4/10.

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2

I don’t like country music, so not off to a great start. A couple of ok songs on this. And the idea of the album isn’t bad, but it’s just far to long for me to ever consider a second listen. Can see why some people would like this, and it’s different enough to not get a 1.

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2

When I first started listening I thought I'd really get on with this but as the album went on I got more and more bored with it.

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2

It started out pretty good, but 90+ mins of this Joe Walsh sound-alike band was too much to bear. That Canadian, Neil Young did the Southern Rock thing much better IMO.

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2

Not my thing. I'm sure I've enjoyed DBT before but too much Skynard for me. Both lyrically and musically. As a Brit, this was never going to change my opinion of the South.

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3/30/22 I don’t think this band is that musically talented. I appreciate the story telling and their spoke word piece was great, but everything else was just okay. Fell short in comparison to The Wall. Also many song are hand to understand lyrics wise which makes it a hard listen if you aren’t reading the lyrics. Appreciate the themes. Favorite song: Three Great Alabama Icons

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Listened to on 3/30/22 2.5/5 Favorite song: women without whiskey Kinda all over the place but also I can’t distinguish any one song. Vibe is meant for a BBQ joint that also has axe throwing after hours

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2

You what mate?

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05/22/2022 Some good stuff here; not a fan of the lead's voice. Insane to be over 90mins long... who has the time?????

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2

För långt, intetsägande och för långt. Ganska gött sound

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2

Boring, long, and not that good.

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2

Southern Rock Opera. Un poco rollo

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2

Not bad, but just didn't connect with it. Meh.

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2

God this was pretty dire. 'It's a mean old dusty highway but it's the only one', what the hell is that. This was almost like a parody of American trucker music. I guess it wasn't wholly bad, there were some nice solos and sounding guitars and his voice was okay but overall it was a cringe-fest.

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Agh this was a bit of drag. Its all just a bit cringe and what I found weird was the truckers clearly think they're the best and trucking the best. Which again I just found embarrassing. #truckinglyfe sounds a bit grim in my opinion. A very weird song about some guy that was racist but then spent his life trying to convince everyone he wasn't racist... found this sound a bit weird and questionable. Wasn't sure of the point - was it dodgy? The music is just a bit one-sided an mon avi

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Ovo izgleda ko parodija. Edit: čak i zvuči phahahah Srsly gitara je u dost vremena super, ostalo je sam dosadno.

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1

Hated it

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Boring, generic folk-rock album. Call me a snob, but this is the first one I don't even understand how it could fit to 1001 albums to listen to before you die. And jeez it is 20 songs of boredom, i might not listen to it the whole way through... Giving up at "Women Without Whiskey", could not care less.

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1

Very much not my thing. And an hour and a half of it to boot. Definitely could have been refined and edited down to 45 minutes or split into two separate albums. Had to skip some of the tracks. The combination of the awkward lyrics with the awkward singing made it almost painful. The Southern pride thing comes across in a way that I find alienating. Feel like much of the content of this album could be handled musically in better hands, but the way they do it, it's like they're trying to collage 2 books together into an album (sometimes even a song) and it just comes across as ham fisted. Half the album wants to be a history lesson about Alabama and Southern culture and the other half is like this short story collection of tales of gritty wild life and being a musician in the South. Trying to do too much at once. I get they're trying to be raw and honest but it just comes across as unrefined and self indulgent.

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1

Just more bad country music. Couldn't get me to stick around to figure out the Opera part

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Not my favorite. Some of the songs did have the same beat. The talking points in between the songs were a little distracting for me

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1

“Southern Rock Opera” by Drive-By Truckers (2001). This is the kind of music that makes you wonder if the South takes itself too seriously. It amounts to an operatic paean to Lenard Skynard, the tragic backstory of the plane running out of gas, and the lyrical themes that made them famous. The music is neither beautiful nor innovative. It’s strictly conventional. But the artistic device is the political thesis that the South gets a bad rap for being, among other things, ubiquitously racist, and Drive-By Truckers are here to do something about it. Sigh. Lynard Skynard at least showed some restraint. Sassiness as a substitute for testosterone. There some cleverness, but it’s pretty lowbrow. Too ambitious. Too unsubtle. Poorly recorded (especially the vocals) and even more poorly mixed. Lead guitar way too subdued the three-guitar mix.

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There's not really anything here to like or dislike, I found the whole thing entirely unremarkable. It's there, it's doing its thing, it isn't interesting me at all. I had to keep reminding myself to listen.

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Paia

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I tried. Made it through 7 1/2 tracks. I just can't.

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Just could not listen to this while I worked. Do not like the vocalist's voice. Otherwise just basic southern rock chords

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1

This doesn't even deserve the keystrokes. So, I'll just share what my friend Joel (a Southerner from Kentucky) had to say when I texted him: "It's bullshit. There is nothing wrong with your cultural perspective. It's "roots" or "Americana" inspired garbage by dudes who really want to tap that vibe, but just can't. Just because I'm Appalachian doesn't mean I'm worth a shit when it comes to that kind of music. Every asshole in that band looks like they went back in time and bought out the clearance rack at Structure."

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Che coglioni, qualche riff interessante ma fare 1 ora e mezza di questa musica è una violenza indecente. Inoltre completamente monocorde alle mie orecchie, ma ce n'era veramente bisogno di fare tutti questi pezzi? Veramente devastante, dovrei mettere 2 per incapacità di giudicare pienamente ma comunque sono pieno di rabbia dopo tutto questo tempo perso.

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Dopo avendo appurato che il tizio che ha formulato questa lista sia un coglione, non mi stupisce aver ascoltato per un'ora e mezza quest'album di scarsa qualità. Quello che mi è dispiaciuto di più è che, anche trattandosi di un genere che potenzialmente mi piace, di 20 tracce in totale, nessuna mi ha intrattenuto, anzi. Che vi ha lasciato? A me niente proprio.

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Not for me. 1/5 stars.

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1

Complete crap. Just total horseshit that I want nothing to do with.

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1

I really didn’t dig it

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1

Nope. Nope. Nope.

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1

Frekar leiðigjarnt. Með Lynard Skynard á heilanum.

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1

Not rated

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1

Not unlistenable but wow it never ends… and not always sure its taking the mickey or earnest in intent. What is for sure I couldn’t take hearing Lynnyrd Skynnyrd namedropped one more time by the end of it

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1

Muderering prostitutes on the highway. What a life. I miss doing it so much. So many people died and i just didn't care one bit. I tell you what guys and gals, I'm going to fire up the engine and go out murdering right now, just for the memories. Watch out! Especially those of you with spina bifida. That's my kind.

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1

Southern and Opera are two words that i never want to be associated with something i have to listen to and this album justifies that predisposition. I'd like to know who listens to this and gets such frothy knickers that they listen to it all the time and have to go and see this live? I couldn't work out if it was a joke or not. if it is then it isn't very funny, but then doing 20 tracks is mega lolz.

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1

This album is over 90 minutes long. I started skipping through songs. I struggle with southern rock and I certainly don't need a double album of it. A lot of times it sounded like a knock off of Skynyrd. I understand the irony of the Skynyrd comment given the George Wallace song. I just do not care for this much southern rock. It is better than some of the other 1s on this list but it not really a 2.

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1

man these guys really like leonard skin nerd, huh? i didnt like this. the songs were individually bad, and the story of the album wasnt particularly compelling

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