Review: T Bone Burnett, “The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space,” 2019

Honestly, how the hell do I keep on ending up with the off-kilter, big idea, big sound, ominous, off-in-outer-space album reviews this year? (It’s because I ask for them. Duh.) I wouldn’t exactly say that T Bone Burnett’s first new album in a dog’s age is a sibling to Rustin Man’s Drift Code; other than their shared large-scale ambitions and big ideas, other than the gap separating them from the last chapter in their respective authors’ discography, they don’t have much in common. Burnett sounds like he made The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space buried in a chamber at the center of the Earth. I think Paul Webb made Drift Code rocking on a hammock in Saturn’s rings.

But they’re both very good, and Burnett’s album is the more urgent of the two, and maybe the most judgmental. I can’t even say I feel like The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space is a direct rebuke to certain American presidential administrations, because it so, so, so obviously is, and Burnett’s super duper pissed about said certain American presidential administration. If you asked him who’s to blame, he’d probably point a finger at you, and then the next person, then run out into the street and start flailing his pointer fingers everywhere. 

This is not a happy album. But it’s a good one! So head over to Paste Magazine to check out my review. 


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