"Journey" is the best Mekons album since "I (Heart) The Mekons," and maybe since their epic "Rock'n'Roll." They crafted this bugger, and didn't just toss it off, like 1998's "Me." Jon Langford returns in full, if mellow, form, and Sally Timms, fresh from the accolades of her solo album, turns in her best performance since "Retreat to Memphis." Why does this work so well, even as it rocks so lightly? Mostly because, after years of distraction -- the Waco Bros., solo albums, their rebirth as a conceptual art band -- the Meeks are back as a bloody BAND, and they play like one. If you have friends who've never heard the Mekons, but have heard you rave about them, tell 'em to dive in. It's fine.