From the Go-Betweens to Jack Frost to his solo work, Grant McLennan has cut a swath of strongly melodic, heartfelt music with lots of good hooks and endearingly blunt lyrics. This, his second solo album, falls between the excellent Watermark and the pop/country gem Horsebreaker Star. It's neither as wide-eyed as its predecessor nor as consistent as its follow-up, but it's a great album nonetheless. Low points are few--skip The Pawnbroker, please!--and the high points are very high. If Surround Me doesn't get your blood pumping, you're in trouble--it's unbelieveably catchy. The Dark Side of Town is a sweetly sad lament for love. Lighting Fires, a high-energy rocker, actually shows up again on his next record, but this is where it originated.
All in all, this is a fine collection of songs not just for McLennan fans, but anyone who likes great songwriting and sincere lyrics in the electric/acoustic rock/folk veins. McLennan's one of the most distinctive & enduring voices in the last 20 years of pop, and he's definitely worth your time.