There is no denying that this album was one of 2008's best, even though there are a couple tracks I usually skip.
Nothing yet has topped the epic Southern Rock Opera, but at times Brighter Than Creation's Dark approaches that level. First off - "3 Dimes Down" has one of my favorite Truckers lyrics ever - ♪Totally screwed, while chicken wing puke eats the candy apple red off his Corvette.♪ The Truckers can go from lighthearted & funny to depressingly serious, and I love that their songs have real characters from all walks of life. When I listen to them, I really focus on the lyrics. From the alcoholic in "Daddy Needs A Drink" to "The Righteous Path" with a blue-collar family guy trying to keep it together - ♪got a grill in the backyard and a case of beers, I got a boat that ain’t seen the water in years, more bills than money, I can do the math, I’m trying to keep focused on the righteous path.♪
"That Man I Shot" is just effing awesome for lack of a better description. It didn't stand out to me on the first couple of plays, but when I saw it performed live, I then had to hear it everyday. If I wanted to introduce someone to the Drive-By Truckers, "That Man I Shot" would definitely be one of the songs I played for them. "Goode's Field Road" is another that didn't hit me until I saw it in concert. The emotion in Patterson's delivery made me really pay attention to the story. Once the light bulb came on, I realized just how big that song really is. My other most-listened tracks on the album are "Check Out Time In Vegas" and "A Ghost To Most" - which are both Cooley songs, and I think some of his best to date. "A Ghost To Most" brings another of my favorite lyrics - ♪skeletons ain’t got nowhere to stick their money, nobody makes britches that size.♪
Where the album falls short for me is with Shonna's songs. I'm sorry - I think they're well-written but her voice is just not for me. I don't mind her on back-up vocals, but I've tried and "I'm Sorry Houston" and "The Purgatory Line" usually get skipped. "Home Field Advantage" does the trick, though. I do enjoy that one. So out of 19 tracks, skipping 2 is a pretty good ratio.