Drive-By Truckers: Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009

New West

Sixteen tracks. That's supposed to summarize 11 years of Truckers' music on the band's new greatest hits release. Those who have followed the band for more than a decade tend to hear each of the eight albums as a complete entity, a slice of time, a contextual commentary on the current state of being in the band that redefined Southern rock, so this may be a bit jarring. But seriously, you could pick another 16 songs and do just as well, then do it again. Shortcomings aside, you get eight Patterson Hood cuts, six by Mike Cooley and two by Jason Isbell. Leading off with "The Living Bubba" and closing with "A World of Hurt," the DBT's unique perspectives on people, places and things are revisited throughout the album. While it may not be a finely planned full-course meal, Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians is like a nice buffet, loaded with familiar flavors that stand on their own. Let's hope the future holds at least eight more good ones. (3 out of 5 stars)