Hats of to Skynyrd once again,like the previous 'God and Guns' disc this is excellent.All the usual themes are here - Defiance (Last of a Dyin Breed), Death (Ready To Fly), tales of broken America (Something To Live For/Nothing Comes Easy), Family (Good Teacher),the challenges of life (One Day At A Time/Life's Twisted). Its an album of many moods from the hope of 'Poor Mans Dream' to the world weary 'Start Livin Life Again', the good time 'Doin It Up Right'/'Homegrown' & 'Mississippi Blood' to the downright Lecherous 'Honey Hole'..it may be about a late night bar(or a fish pond - see magazine) or it may be about something entirely different,safe to say your unlikely to hear it on your local radio station.
This is a superb disc capturing every emotion,you can envisage them sitting back on the porch,throwing back a few beers while playin' 'Start Livin Life Again',you can see the lighters in the air if and when the play 'Ready To Fly' in concert,you can nod your head in agreement with the sentiment felt in 'Something To Live For',he's singing about America but we can all share in the feeling that most countries fail there people at some point.
I initially wasnt going to give 5 stars but this disc IS a 5 star disc on its own merits,it shouldnt be compared to the 70's ,if the original members were all still here,they wouldnt be able to re-create the spark of their youth,so while this doesnt have the youthful vibrancy of the early days(and how could it),this is a modern Skynyrd for a modern age while remaining true to the original blueprint.
The playing on this disc is superb,the guitar playin excellent,nuthin fancy(pun intended) but hits the spot each time,Johnny Van Zants vocals wonderful(he's had the hardest job and risen to it beautifully),they're raucous at one moment and emotive the next,a job well done.The new boys have gelled perfectly all no doubt helped by the excellent production once more of Bob Marlette..
Now if they would just take the next step and play these tunes in concert,'Ready to Fly' was made for the stage,it would be perfect played just before 'Freebird'.
The Fan pack as usual is superb,great photos ,excellent reading,the only slight negative about this release,as mentioned by a previous reviewer,it would appear that as well as the standard CD release,there is another special edition which also has 4 bonus track,however that edition has 2 exclusive studio track not found here,we get two live tracks ,which while is good value,the studio tracks would have been of more interest.