Sturgill Simpson, “Sound & Fury” (Elektra)
Forget country, outlaw country or whatever Sturgill Simpson’s genre-pushing music has been categorized as.
“Sound & Fury” is melt-your-face-off fuzz rock. Simpson describes it as “sleazy, steamy rock ‘n’ roll” and he’s right.
“Sound & Fury” is as much country music as Dolly Parton is punk rock.
Sometimes when an artist takes a left turn, they come off as a poser. Not Simpson. He feels right at home with “Sound & Fury.”
It serves as the soundtrack to a Netflix anime film of the same name being released the same day. The record was recorded primarily at the McGuire Motor Inn in Waterford, Michigan, because, well, why not?
The track “Make Art Not Friends” is as close to a mission statement from Simpson as he’s ever come. He may not make many friends from those wanting more country from “Sound & Fury,” but it’s clear Simpson doesn’t care much.
Simpson was never a conventional country singer, even as he won best country album at the 2016 Grammys. If there were any fans who were hoping he would turn more country and less rock, they are going to be sorely disappointed, angry maybe, with this one.
Maybe that’s just what Simpson wanted.