Black Sheets of Rain is my favorite Bob Mould solo album. It is the darkest and heaviest album of his brilliant repertoire. Lyrically, it consists of the typical Bob Mould cynicism but also sports many environmental references. Musically, it is the hardest rock Mould has ever put out and, judging from his recent musical direction, will probably remain so. The first six tracks are the best. Definitely five-star material. The title track, "Stand Guard", "One Good Reason" and "Stop Your Crying" are some of the best songs Mould has ever recorded. His music significantly matured since the Husker Du days. "It's Too Late" was the single from Black Sheets. It is a nice song without being overly commercial, however, it gave no indication to the radio listener or MTV viewer how powerful most of the album is. Unfortunately, things get rather mundane with the next four tracks. Lyrically and musically the edge is softened almost to jelly. "Out of Your Life" is the best example. On the same album where a listener experiences the darkness of "Hanging Tree" one hears the singy verse "If you want me out of your life now all you gotta do is tell me". The listener is saved at the end, though, with perhaps Mould's most powerful number "Sacrifice/Let There Be Peace". It is the screaming last track like the one found on Workbook ("Whichever Way the Wind Blows") only this one is much more effective. There is not just seemingly pointless yelling, but brilliant direction with powerful lyrics: "When words become weapons there'll be peace in the valley of death."