I can't say I'm a particularly big fan of Joe but I'm always willing to listen to his classy versions of classic songs and his last two albums 'Hymn for My Soul' and 'Heart and Soul' were particularly good, featuring great performances of some wonderful songs. This latest TV-advertised album is produced by Matt Serletic (who has recently worked with Carlos Santana) and features nine original songs rather than Joe's usual covers. As you'd expect Joe sings everything really well but I'm afraid that I found the songs mostly unmemorable and I felt that the backing and production, although very professional, were overdone and bland. The only cover is the final track, a cover of The Dixie Chick's `I Hope' produced by Nashville's Tony Brown, but this didn't sound any different to the rest of the album, with Joe being swamped by 'chick' singers. My favourite track is probably "So it goes" a restrained ballad with much subtler production, closely followed by the more upbeat gospel-sounding "Thankful".
I applaud Joe for doing something different and getting away from the covers but unfortunately for me this hasn't really worked, especially in comparison to his recent excellent albums. And when is his "Something to say" LP going to be released on CD?