Son Volt - Trace (20th Anniversary Edition)
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Jay Farrar always provided the darkest, grittiest moments in Uncle Tupelo, so it comes as no surprise that Son Volt is a rawer record than A.M., the first album by Wilco, a band led by his former partner Jeff Tweedy. Throughout Son Volt's debut, Trace, the group reworks classic honky tonk and rock & roll, adding a desperate, determined edge to their performances. Even when they rock out, there is a palpable sense of melancholy to Farrar's voice, which lends a poignancy to the music. Trace isn't a great step forward from Tupelo's last album, the lovely Anodyne, but it is a fine continuation of the ideas Farrar has pursued over the course of his career.