Sturgill Simpson // SOUND & FURY
A country album with a commitment to everything but country
Sturgill Simpson makes outlaw country for 2019. A vocal critic of Nashville and the state of country music, his music has consistently made a splash in the hearts of fans who miss the grit and soul that used to come along with the genre. But on the aptly titled SOUND & FURY, that splash has never been bigger. Somewhere outside of a Top 40 country concert, you can find Sturgill Simpson in a beat-up car blasting ZZ Top and ripping donuts in the parking lot, laughing all the way home. In a move that extends to the album's accompanying anime(!) film on Netflix, the most impressive thing about SOUND & FURY is it's commitment to being everything but traditional country. Simpson's throaty baritone holds the songs firmly in his specialty, but from borderline stoner riffs (closing track "Fastest Horse in Town") to Jimmy Buffet pop-rock ("Mercury is Retrograde"), the music of SOUND & FURY runs the gambit. Even when the songs don't quite land in the presence of fuzzy production and off-key vocals ("Make Art Not Friends"), Simpson still pulls it all together with sheer, commanding audacity.
— Aaron Mook