This was my first Chris Rea album. I got it for £2 in a sale, so I wasn't expecting much. Instead I was surprised to find an interesting, almost experimental album. It sounds like a blues purist working with a disco drummer and being produced by a Pink Floyd fan. It even has found sounds and voices on it like '70s Floyd.
Others seem to hate this album, but it's grown into one of my all time favourites. I like the extensive use of loud female backing vocals, and I like the ethereal floating synth sound that accompanies most of the tracks.
"Can't Get Through" (after its silly opening set of voices and sound effects) and "New Times Square" are excellent rockers.
"Evil No. 2" has some great lyrics and an energetic, slightly wacky beat to it.
"E" and "Firefly" are nice laid-back, woozy, breezy songs (if you like Van Morrison's "Wavelength" and "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart" albums, then you should like these tracks).
"Coming Off the Ropes" is pretty weak, and the voice samples are embarrassingly bad, but it's not without its jazz club charms on its umpteenth listen.
I'm not joking, I do really like this album. I assume Rea himself hates it, and it's telling that none of the tracks have turned up on the three best of collections that have been released since 1999. Listen to it with an open mind, accept that it's not a traditional blues/rock album and you might be surprised by it.