It's very rare that a CD can move me in such a deep way, but that's just what "Phillips 66" did. There are a lot of fine songs here, but there's also a certain vibe or atmosphere that makes this one special to me. It sounds like a guy who knows he doesn't have much time left. There's no bitterness, no self-pity, no ego hang-ups. Just a very gentle and loving farewell to family and friends.
Listening to "Slow Starter", I almost feel like I'm eavesdropping on a private conversation between a father and child. The final tune on the album, "If", is almost certainly Papa John very eloquently saying goodbye to his ol' lady. The thing that makes it so moving (to me anyway), is that he's clearly not interested in gaining any more respect or credit as an artist; that stuff doesn't matter anymore. He's just expressing himself very honestly, un-self-consciously, and for lack of a less cliched phrase, "from the heart". His voice often sounds tired and old, he doesn't care, and it actually adds to the atmosphere. To criticise him for it would, under the circumstances, be incredulous and even callous. The sheer raw sincerity and lack of artifice is enough, in my opinion, to make this a masterpiece and a beautiful way to end his career and life.
I know I sound very emotion-heavy in my description of this CD, but when dealing with love and death, there is simply no room for intellectualisation. There is only room for compassion.