Ex-Uncle Tupelo man comes back fighting

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Son Volt – The Search

After 2005’s tentative comeback “Okemah And The Melody Of Riot”, Jay Farrar’s Son Volt have discovered a new sense of ambition, even abandon, on “The Search”. “The Picture”, say, all ripe horns and rainy-day soul, could be a long lost Stax B-side. There are backwards effects, guitar noise and angry asides too, as Farrar curses this age of information overload. But his knack for simple, minor-key beauty is uncanny. Ballads like “Highway And Cigarettes” and “Adrenaline And Heresy” – one with pedal steel, the other doleful piano – are as quietly stunning as anything he’s done.

ROB HUGHES