I heard a lot about this record before I bought it: unique, amazing lyrics, voice like Robert Plant, as good or better than Bob Dylan. After owning "Outlander" for over a year, I can't say it lived up to the hype.
More than anything else, I think what holds this album back is its Bob Dylan influence. At times, it seems like Stevens isn't doing much more than recreating specific Dylan tunes: "Left Over Time" is structured, arranged, and delivered A LOT like "Visions of Johanna." Likewise, "Love Owed" and "Lying to Myself" come off as bland pre-Bringing it All Back Home acoustic Dylan tunes, but, unlike Bob's tunes, the lyrical substance just isn't there. I'm a much bigger fan of Stevens' voice when he isn't trying to pull off a Bob impression, but it seems to be his goal more often than not. These criticisms said (sorry hardcore Meic fans), some of this record has a whole lot going for it.
I really dig Stevens' crazy acoustic strumming and howling on "Rowena" and "Ghost Town." The use of sitar on "The Sailor and Madonna" and "Yorric" gives Stevens a psychedelic, exotic, trance-like sound that Dylan could only dream about. I wish he was tapping into this kind of groove a lot more, rather than being held back by his reverence for his Bobness. "Oxblood" is also a lively, folky jaunt. More than anything, this record feels like it's not living up to its potential--I don't know any of Stevens' Welsh-sung catalog, so I can only hope that it's not just imitation Dylan, and is actually more of what makes Meic Stevens unique.
Overall, I can't rate this album too high because half of it just isn't original enough to warrant some of the praise I've heard for it (again, sorry Stevens fans). Some obscure records are really worth shelling out the extra money for, but, in my opinion, this one isn't worth the prices it's going for (at least $15). That said, a lot of people love it, so if you're a fan of psychedelic folk rock that pays homage to Blonde on Blonde, you just might find it worth the money.