Jamey makes several Best of 2008 lists
Rolling Stone Magazine - Best Albums of 2008
#32: Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
American Songwriter - Top 25 Albums of 2008
#9:That Lonesome Song
Houston Chronicle's Chron.com - Best Albums of 2008
Jamey Johnson took the #1 spot
If Johnson made this album 30 years ago, today we'd be saying they don't make them like Jamey Johnson anymore. As is, he's an aberration, a Nashville cat who writes with intelligent grit and sings with pained gravitas. This is maybe the best rough-hewn album to come out of Nashville since Guitar Town. And that was a long time ago.
Houston Chronicle - Top 10
#4. That Lonesome Song, Jamey Johnson
I gave Johnson’s disc a full spin a while after its August release and was mystified as to why I waited so long. Johnson’s lyrics cut like a knife, made all the sharper by his ragged, rugged voice. Taken together, the songs have a cinematic quality, touching on heartache and hopelessness with equal parts grit and grace. It’s enough of a jolt to make you believe that quality country music isn’t a thing of the past.
AOL - Best Country Albums of 2008
THAT LONESOME SONG has landed at #2:
"Standout Song: 'The Last Cowboy'
Johnson is country through and through, yet his songs speak to the masses of love, heartache and perils of the everyday man. The prolific songwriter works in the names of a few of his influences in his tunes, all the while standing himself at the forefront of the new tradition of the Georges -- Strait and Jones."
The New York Times - Best Albums of 2008
#1 on Jon Caramanica's "Sounds of Swagger and Sob Stories" list
#5 on Nate Chinen's "Standouts on Rap, Jazz and Country" list
#6 on Jon Pareles's "A Mix of Vocals, Lyrics and Styles" list
The second album from this stoic country singer documents a series of battles — with a woman, with alcohol and drugs, with a stubborn self. The scars and the bruises, they speak for themselves, as do the words that often seem to give out, exhausted and apologetic, halfway through.
SPIN Magazine - "Best Songs of 2008"
#10 - "High Cost of Living"
"Praying while getting high in a Southern Baptist parking lot, Johnson plays this country saga like Toby Keith's darkest night of the soul -- no beer for his horses or for anybody else."
DallasNews.com - Top 10 CDs of 2008
#8:Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song (Mercury Nashville)
Outlaw country ain't dead. In fact, in Mr. Johnson's hands, it's raw, emotional and world-weary. "High Cost of Living" and "In Color" are sobering masterpieces. And he's got more just like those.
NASHVILLE SCENE - 2008 Best of Music
"As usual, the best country music of 2008 wasn't found on the charts"
A salt-of-the-earth antidote for those who consider contemporary country music too slick and sentimental, Johnson serves up barroom poetry from the point of view of hard-bitten losers and boozers. But it's not just the outlaw stance that lifts his work; it's the blue-collar authenticity of a man writing his truths with a balance of nerve and sensitivity. He also offers the best backroom honky-tonk arrangements heard this year.
Rhapsody - #1 Country Album of 2008
Wall Street Journal - Best of 2008
"Country CDs with Legs: Recordings and Reissues in 2008 that are likely to last"
With this, his second CD, Jamey Johnson steps up to a level of songwriting that's so frank, so pinpoint exact in its life specifics ("That Southern Baptist parking lot was where I'd go to smoke my pot") and memorable in its images ("I'm mowin' down the roses that you planted in our yard"), that the album's total impact recalls that of the 1970 LP that marked the seemingly sudden emergence of Kris Kristofferson. (Both men actually had substantial writing credits racked up first.) Mr. Johnson's vocals are deep, leathery and vulnerable, credibly inviting comparisons with Waylon Jennings; the hard country and rock sounds of his band are sharp and Deep South funky.
Washington Post - Top 10 Albums of 2008
#4 - Jamey Johnson - That Lonesome Song
Country traditionalist Jamey Johnson is a good ol' boy in a bad, bad way on "That Lonesome Song," a brilliant bummer of an album. The superlative songs are so sad and dark that they'd probably get Vern Gosdin to shed tears of joy. Johnson writes in the album's liner notes. "With divorce on the horizon and my record deal taken away I set out for relief by getting out of my head for a while. Instead of risking the drive home (I was staggering drunk) I just threw my keys in the bed of my truck and went to sleep in the passenger seat. It was over a year later, after receiving Song of the Year at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, before I'd have another drink. 'That Lonesome Song' is a collection of my observations of my life as I saw it during that time."
Harrowing, honest and open-hearted, full of ache, anger and angst, and shot through with a dose of dark humor, "That Lonesome Song" is one of the best albums of 2008, landing at No. 4 on my year-end Top 10 -- even though Johnson originally self-released it in 2007 as a digital download.PASTE - Favorite Albums of 2008
#8 Jamey Johnson That Lonesome Song
AMAZON.com - Best Country Albums of 2008
#6 Jamey Johnson That Lonesome SongATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION - Best Country CD of 2008
My favorite country CD of the year: Alabaman Jamey Johnson’s hard country, old-school debut, The Lonesome Song
(just got this recently, and it’s so good I had to move it ahead of Hayes Carll’s Trouble In Mind
.)StarTribune.com (Minneapolis) - Favorite Albums of 2008
#7. Jamey Johnson That Lonesome Song -
A sensitive outlaw with a louder-than-Waylon voice reflects on divorce, drugs and drinking in the year's most intriguing country album.USA Today - Brian Mansfield's Top 5 Albums of the Year
Ranked #2 - Few country writers dare match his brutal honesty turned inward.Arkansas Democrat Gazette - Top 10 Unruly Albums of 2008
The Birmingham News - Great in '08
Tough and tender, hardscrabble and soul-searching. Country music was looking for the next big thing, and may have found it in a singer-songwriter from Alabama. Johnson, born in Enterprise and raised in Montgomery, released a breakthrough disc this year, "That Lonesome Song." Now he's juggling three Grammy nominations for 2009, including one for the radio hit "In Color."CMT.com - Best of 2008
#3 on Chet Flippo’s List; #10 on Alison Bonaguro's list and #2 on Craig Shelbourne's listBaltimore City Paper - Best of 2008
This year, the big revelation was Jamey Johnson. Johnson had released his debut album in 2006 with modest success, but a flop single and a drinking problem lost him his contract with BNA Records. He disappeared, recovered from a divorce, quit the bottle, and wrote a new batch of tougher, more personal songs. He recorded those tunes on his own, but Mercury Records was smart enough to pick it up and release it as That Lonesome Song
. The album opens with the sound of steel bars clanging open, cowboy boots clicking down a hallway, and a prison guard saying, "Mr. Johnson, as of now you're free to do whatever you want to do." Does it really matter if the metaphor applies to freedom from alcohol or freedom from Music Row?
The first song, "High Cost of Living," is not your typical country-music sobriety tale, full of generalities and platitudes. Johnson makes the connection between a crummy job and chemical temptation; he points out the limitations of religion and details the sordidness of motel-room parties. He sings it all in a nasal, baritone growl very much like Waylon Jennings' over a seething organ and twangy guitar. The title track is filled with similarly sharpened detail: he wakes up in his Chevy's front seat with "whiskey eyes and ashtray breath on a chert rock gravel road." You don't hear about such experiences on relentlessly upbeat country radio anymore. "That's the story of my life," Johnson sings, "trying to remember the words to a song nobody wrote." Johnson wasn't the only one hungering for that missing country song, and here it is at last. The Louisville Courier-Journal - Five Best Records of 2008
I still can't believe that the guy who wrote "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" could make a record this real and good.The Patriot Ledger - The Best Country Album of '08 you Probably Haven't Heard
You’re a country fan, or you know one, who’s beyond jaded and needs something that’s as professionally crafted as it is emotionally devastating. Jamey Johnson’s ``That Lonesome Song'' is your next purchase – the next link in a chain that hits guys named Kristofferson, Jennings and Jones on its way back in time.Creative Loafing Tampa - Top 20 Songs of 2008
#17 “High Cost of Living” Minneapolis Star-Tribune - The year in music: Our favorite albums
#7 Jamey Johnson, "The Lonesome Song."
A sensitive outlaw with a louder-than-Waylon voice reflects on divorce, drugs and drinking in the year's most intriguing country album.
courier-journal.com - Top 5 of 2008
I still can't believe that the guy who wrote "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" could make a record this real and good.Jamey also ranks on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Country Picks:
"Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
(Mercury). Drinking, drugging, divorce: The Alabama-born honky-tonker has lived it all, and he puts those staples of country inspiration to good use on a set that is far darker than most mainstream Nashville releases. " 1/5/2009