Jamey Johnson

Here are some things you'll find on Jamey Johnson's latest album, 2010's The Guitar Song: Three songs ("Lonely at the Top," "Poor Man Blues," "Can't Cash My Checks") explicitly addressing class differences, the last one featuring a verse about harvesting marijuana even more redolent of Weeds than the one on Dierks Bentley's Up on the Ridge. Two songs ("California Riots," "Even the Skies Are Blue") that warn that the world's real bad and getting worse. Two songs ("Playing the Part," "California Riots" again) about faking it in L.A. while wishing you were back in Alabama, which just happen to be the most '70s-Cali-soft-rock/catchy-singer-songwriter things on the record. Three songs ("That's How I Don't Love You," "Good Morning Sunrise," "My Way to You") that employ alcohol and other poisons for post-breakup self-medication. Two songs in a row with the phrase "good times" in their titles ("Good Times Ain't What They Used to Be," "For the Good Times"). And songs sung from the points of view of God (half of "I Remember You"), two pawnshop guitars (title-track novelty "The Guitar Song") and "Heartache," which tallies famous folks foiled by said malady throughout history, from cavemen to Antony 'n' Cleopatra to Charles 'n' Diana. You know, à la "Sympathy for the Devil." Or Motörhead's "Orgasmatron."
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Chuck Eddy