Son Volt - The Search 2LPTransmit Sound
The Search Son Volt was founded in 1994 by Jay Farrar of New Orleans, Louisiana after the dissolution of the band Uncle Tupelo. Earnest, plainspoken and single-minded, Jay Farrar has amassed a sizable and distinctive body of work since coming on the radar with Uncle Tupelo in 1987. The Search, the fifth album by the St. Louis-based artist under the Son Volt nameplate, takes Farrar's signature juxtapositions of the arcane and the modern to provocative extremes, contrasting the blue highways of a disappearing cultural landscape with a perilous world in which the center no longer holds - a world of information overload, of clueless leaders carrying out sinister agendas, of "Hurricanes in December - earthquakes in the heartland/Bad air index on a flashing warning sign," as the artist sings ruefully on "The Picture." The Search's 14 songs locate and vividly portray the prevailing modes of the human condition in the first decade of the 21st century: cynicism ("Beacon Soul"), reflection ("The Search"), restlessness ("L Train," "Highways and Cigarettes"), yearning ("Adrenaline and Heresy"), paranoia ("Automatic Society"), despair ("Methamphetamine") and conditional hopefulness ("Underground Dream," "Phosphate Skin"). By turns melancholy and exhilarating, the album further cements Farrar's status as one of rock's most eloquent chroniclers of contemporary existence.