Dispel any notion that Patterson Hood’s new solo record, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs), will be the soundtrack for your next romantic rendezvous. The ominous opening chords of the title track – a tale of gun shots and salvation found at the altar of oneself – are classic Patterson Hood: foreboding, introspective, and most definitely not those of a love song. Patterson Hood has refined his songwriting over the last ten-plus years with Drive-by Truckers, and fans will be delighted by this new collection of worldly observations. Most fascinating about Hood’s work on Murdering Oscar is that he so easily switches from the brooding tenor of “Heavy and Hanging” or the disenchantment of “She’s A Little Randy” and “Screwtopia” to the whimsy of “Granddaddy.” Hood shows that his life, like ours, is a tangle of delight and disappointment, clarity and confusion. A labor of love some fifteen years in the making, Murdering Oscar was certainly worth the wait.