But not necessarily a bad thing, as 2004's O.C.M.S. was easily the best bluegrass crossover since The Mountain by Steve Earle & Del McCoury.
The mix is much as before, treading a fine line between esoteric, traditional & mainstream, with many of the songs following the templates laid down by the debut, but familarity hasn't yet started to breed contempt. Though maybe there's no need to go looking for a third perky little number with Cocaine in the title for the next record,lads.
It's a whole lot grittier than Alison Krauss or Nickel Creek & so should appeal to the listeners who have perhaps been alienated by the more tasteful/MOR examples of country/bluegrass.
Relieved to see the continuing involvement of Rawlings & Welch on the production/playing side, always a guarantee of artistic integrity. Just a little worried that Rawlings seems to have had a hand in helping to write nearly half the songs, which perhaps smacks a little of relying on him too much in the studio to tie up loose ends.
Perhaps it's time to mix things up a little next time, fellers, & get somebody like Steve Earle involved. But all in all it's an excellent follow-up; great vocal & instrumental work & still boasting the outstanding involvement of the insanely named Critter Fuqua (has rock or country come up with a better name?.)