Smog, which is to say Callahan plus guests, has probably recorded his most accessible and bright album to date. Now, "accessible" or "bright" are terms that must be qualified, when it comes to Smog. The wise irony of his lyrics and stark melodies, which have been staples of Callahan's songwriting are very much present here too, yet these songs seem to reveal a new phase of his personal and artistic development. As he said in one of his early songs, "I'm gathering splinters / to make a raft someday," and so he has and he's, it is my intuition, more interested in reaching you, than ever before. This is particularly poignant in "Truth Serum," "Anniversary," and, my personal favorite, the quirkily countryish "Feather By Feather," songs that combine the precision and irony of his best lyrics, with unassumingly simple yet enthralling melodies. This album should rank with "Knock Knock" or "Red Apple Falls," although its mood is definitely lighter by Smog standards, as a work of high consistency and weight. As Callahan says himself, in "Feather By Feather," this is music for people "who when they do the movie of your life / they gonna have to ask you to do your own stunts."