If you've come to the Saw Doctors through their superb live shows, or the rough-and-ready folk-rock of the first two albums, you may be a bit disappointed by "Same Oul' Town". Easily the most polished of the studio albums to date, it can seem as if some of the spontaneity of earlier works has been sacrificed in favour of smoothness. But to say that is to do an injustice to the songs themselves, which are possibly the finest collection ever assembled by the boys from Tuam. Silly upbeat numbers are in the minority (though "Back to Tuam" and "Macnas Parade" provide welcome contrast), instead the majority of this album is wistful, introspective, and ballady. The social conscience of the band is powerfully expressed too in the unity anthem "All the One" and the beautiful "Everyday", which very understatedly tells the story of an Irish lass driven abroad to get an abortion, and is a plea for love instead of judgement. "World of Good", which was for me one of the best singles of the 1990s, is simply the best thing you could ever offer to an old companion or lover, and the album closes with the gorgeous, wistful "Clare Island" - which, if it isn't pure romance, I don't know what is. This is the album which defines the Saw Doctors, not just as good-time rock 'n' rollers, but as people with something to say, and big hearts behind the words.