A good way into the throwing muses, with the ability to preoccupy one's listening at first, and then remain a staple in the collection afterwards. It's difficult to see how a person could object to this album, with a please-all mixture of pop and indie.
But this doesn't make it middle-aged sludge, it's still fairly raw and edgy, with teenage vibes, and a whole lot more calmness than earlier muses.
On a negative note, the album gets off to a slightly shakey start, both in terms of recording, and the quality of the songs. This rectifies after the first two pieces, and can't dim what follows. The second (and minor) drawback is that the restraint applied seems too curtail some of the songs at mid evolutionary stage, maybe they just got bored with each one, perhaps the commercial sentiment set in; songs like "Ellen West" generate huge towers of rhythm, but topple at mid-build, even if cleverly juxtaposed with quiet melodies, there's a slight disappointment as time goes on.
Overall the atmos is much in with the zeitgeist, broken hearts, self discovery, suffering nobility, social conscience. This transitional feel, of its time, of the adolescence it can evoke, and of the band, is an evolving moment where things tip.
Listen to it by the sea.