Since 2006's excellent 'No Wish To Reminisce', Neal Casal has been busy as a member of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals. Raising his profile to the point where you would have thought that the release of 'Roots & Wings' could be the album to break him, if not into the big time, then at least to the wider audience that he deserves. That he chooses then to take a less obvious route makes you wonder if he only aspires to retain cult status? To be fair, this isn't the first time that Neal Casal has chosen to make a largely acoustic record. It starts brightly enough with the catchy 'Losing End Again', and it does have it moments throughout. The stripped back and folky 'Tomorrow's Sky' & 'Turn For The Worse', the country shuffle of 'A Year & A Day' and 'Hereby The Sea', with its pedal steel, are just a few of those. If there is a problem, it's not with the quality of the songs. Rather that it is all too pleasant. Content to drift by, without ever breaking into a sweat, it offers no more than we have come to expect from him, which leaves me feeling somewhat underwhelmed. If this is your introduction to Neal Casal, then there should be enough here, i hope, to lead you to his earlier albums, which i would recommend!