SPIN - Jamey Johnson Review
Gruff-voiced storyteller gives hellacious tour of hard life
by Chuck Eddy
Opening with clanking prison doors, then taking off with "High Cost of Living," a nearly six-minute, drugs-nullifying-life drone that's as close as 2008 will get to its own "Heroin," this honky-tonkin' ex-Marine's first album since Sony booted him turns a cracked mirror on Nashville triumphalism. A depressive cuckold's lament updates Glen Campbell's "Where's the Playground Susie," and a funereal cowboy dirge gets country's most gothic studio effects ever. By the end, when Johnson stakes a place vocally, geographically, and alphabetically "somewhere between Jennings and Jones," you're relieved he still has his wits about him.