I bought this album on the strength of TCWs set on Jools Holland Live, which was in all respects as remarkable a debut perhaps as k t tunstall some years ago. A little research took me to find their live set, from their second ever gig in the 'Attic'. Once again I was blown away, so perhaps expectations were raised for their first studio album. Most of their self penned work here is familiar and is supported by bass, guitar piano and slide across a range of tracks. However, and quality production notwithstanding, their is something missing from these versions... and simply it is the chemistry and interplay that Joy and John display in their live work. It is not often that I would prefer a live album over a studio offering, but in this case The Civil Wars fail to deliver the heights of their live work. Hence a lower score than I had anticipated.