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A Blessing And A Curse


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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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listen  1. Feb_ 14 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Gravity's Gone 3:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Easy On Yourself 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Aftermath USA 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Goodbye 6:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Daylight 3:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Wednesday 4:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Little Bonnie 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Space City 4:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. A Blessing And A Curse 5:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. A World Of Hurt 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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English Oceans Album Trailer

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English Oceans, the 12th release by Athens, Georgia's Drive-By Truckers, is an elegantly balanced and deeply engaged new effort that finds the group refreshed and firing on all cylinders.

All but one of the collection's 13 new songs, written by singer-guitarists and co-founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, were recorded during 13 days of sessions in August 2013 with ... Read more in Amazon's Drive-By Truckers Store

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Frequently Bought Together

A Blessing And A Curse + Decoration Day + The Dirty South
Price for all three: $38.84

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B000E97X6G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Drive-By Truckers are back with another kickass CD. A Blessing and a Curse is the band's hardest rockin' CD yet. It is fitting that the final words on the album are ''It's great to be alive.'' the songs on this record illustrate the triumphant struggle it takes to survive and thrive in this world. New West. 2006.

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Known for two big-idea concept albums, Southern Rock Opera (dedicated to Lynyrd Skynyrd) and The Dirty South (a 70+ minute exploration of their Alabama roots), the Drive-by Truckers here go economical with a 45+ minute rock album. Three singers (all guitarists, to boot) ensure that moods shift often, even with every voice bearing a sand-blasted quality that grit-pocks everything. Patterson Hood tackles most of the tunes, sounding like a roughed-up Faces on "Aftermath USA," detailing drugs and deterioration against boogied-up guitars, and sounding a more sensitive side on "Goodbye" and "Little Bonnie" (another in a line of Truckers' funeral tunes). With a barrel-chested croak of a voice, Mike Cooley runs down the rudderless-ness of love and desperation on "Gravity's Gone" and slow, acoustic tenderness on "Space City." The loudest guitarist, Jason Isbell, takes on two tracks: "Easy on Yourself" and "Daylight," where he alternates between wry fury and a yearning pine for more time, more space. Isbell basks in an array of slide-guitar throwdowns, always leaving a signature sound the way Skynyrd's Allen Collins and Gary Rossington did in their glory days. All in all, this is a calmer Truckers set, less ragged and more polished--but rest assured: Their live sets still smoke like their 40 Watt Club DVD from 2005. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

One of my favorite albums.
Jeri 907
Pound for pound this album is probably better than TDS and should be judged in light of the new sound they are going for here.
serial_clown
This time, on A Blessing and a Curse, we are served up tales of lost love and excess.
Jonathan Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By punkviper on April 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Many people/reviewers will constantly trumpet the "rock" quality of the Drive-By Truckers, and i have to believe that these same people must listen to Yanni and Enya in their spare time. The skill & wit of DBT, tempered with the soul & grit is really what makes them a memorable band. Any bunch of yokels can grab a Gibson, run on stage and yammer on about beer & broads all night, and trying to define this band by that quality is short-selling them in a big way.

Though there is a difference in this album VS prior studio recordings, and it does have to do with the volume & intensity. You can tell the DBT wrote a lot of this material in the studio. It's more personal, it's more introspective, and it's (dare i say) more delicate than some of the less tuneful bombast that we got on The Dirty South (an album i appreciate dearly). But what makes the Truckers great, the wry turns of phrase, the honest-to-goodness Southern culture, and the guts, are all still here. It's just wrapped around a more restrained set of tunes that go down easier than the fifth of Jack you might have been expecting.

To this fan's ears this release show's a lot of the (oft-dreaded) "maturity" that truly great bands can achieve when they simply sit down and write from the heart. Therefore this album = more wistfulness and loss, < bar-room squall and bombast. To me, it's a tremendous transition that results in a very listenable record (perhaps their most so) and one that really shows how far they've come as songwriters since the early days. Maybe not the perfect intro to the band, but certainly one to pick up once initiated.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marc W. Landry on November 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Most of the reviews here make a whole lot of sense to me, even the bitter ones. This is NOT in the same league as SRO, Decoration Day nor Dirty South. I was expecting something of that calibre but was very dissapointed when I heard it for the first time. Not a heck of alot of depth here, what happened to the songwriting? I couldnt believe all 3 DBT songwriters went into the songwriting tank at the same time. How could this happen to 3 brilliant writers simultaneously?

What I am finding now after about the 50th listen is that although the songwriting is not as interesting, its a fun album to groove to for music itself. The playing on this album is WAY beyond any of there previous outings, it is slick and polished but it sounds great. The guitars duel the drums kick and the vocals are first rate. The songs are good... not great... but you get used to them after a while and find yourself singing along.

Check it out

ML
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Finefrock VINE VOICE on May 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The latest by the DBT's continues in a line of excellent music. The big news is that they have changed the concept of their writing to address everyday issues rather than everyday Southern issues. They have also filed off some of the edges from their delightfully grungy guitar sound. The results of this are all hinging on you're expectations coming in. If you are hooked on the superb songwriting of this band, you will be delighted by what you get, pure, passionate songs that wryly examine the human condition. If you are looking for a hard rocking party loaded with local color and references, chances are you will be disappointed with the new direction the band has taken.

Personally, I think that the band, despite being on an artistic roll that few bands can equal, was wise to take a change of course. I love the bands previous output, but eventually they were going to become a caricature. SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA, their breakthrough, provided a similar break from the first two albums in their catalog by focusing the songwriting and muscling up their sound. This one is more radical, in that they are distancing themselves from the roots that brought them the fame that they have attained to this point. As far as I am concerned, as long as Hood, Isbell and Cooley continue to write songs as strong as the ones included here, they could record them as Gregorian Chants, and I would still check them out and enjoy them.

The sound here has more of a Stones or punk sound than previous releases, with AFTERMATH USA sounding like a long lost EXILE ON MAIN STREET outtake (and a good one!). The opener FEBRUARY 14TH has the sound of prime Replacements circa TIM, while Cooley's GRAVITY GONE and SPACE CITY have a sound more akin to the bands previous work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Clark on April 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The last sonic hayride the DBT's took us through the Dirty South and showed us what all was going on that's wrong and crooked. This time, on A Blessing and a Curse, we are served up tales of lost love and excess.

On "Goodbye" we hear a wrenching farewell bid to a dear old friend. Anyone who has ever wondered where the hell a close friend disappeared to in this wild orgy called life will appreciate this song.

"Little Bonnie" is a song that will bring tears to your eyes. This album is worth purchasing for this song alone.

And, as always, the artwork of Wes Freed is breathtaking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr Yapples on May 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Most reviews about this album are spot on, but they tend to focus on what the truckers have moved away from (e.g. Southern Rock, songs that Rawk, etc). What struck me most about this album, howver, is not what DBT have discarded, but what they have embraced -- the cleanest, most intricate and melodic three guitar interplay of their career. Sure, they're not (always) turning it up to 11 like they did on some prior releases, but the focus on melody actually makes A Blessing and a Curse a true guitar album. You go truckers, you go...
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Which Drive By Truckers disc do i pick up first as a beginner to the group?
No reason not to start with the new greatest hits album. I started with Decoration Day, and that's still probably my favorite album. Love 'Sink Hole', 'Sounds Better in the Song', and 'Outfit' in particular. That's one song from each of the primary songwriters - there is a lot of talent in... Read More
Sep 16, 2011 by Adrian C. Lock |  See all 2 posts
Time For a Cooley Solo Album
totally agree; although, I was a little disappointed in his two songs on B&C. Gravity's Gone would be great if vocals were more prominent; then tend to get lost; but the riff is great and reminds me of the classic Uncle Frank off Pizza Deliverance; Space City is no Zip City that's for sure;... Read More
Apr 25, 2006 by Art Slusark |  See all 5 posts
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