OK, I admit, I am not the most unbiased of RT critics, in fact, I believe he is the greatest musician on the planet. However, I can still see he has his weaker moments, like 2005's tranquil but dull 'Front Parlor Ballads' ,however, MY GOD, is this not one of them!! This is a return to the greatness of the electric earthy sound of 2003's Old Kit Bag, but yet better. It sounds like Richard's been trying to get back to a somewhat more folky sound for a while, and possibly that was his fall on FPB. However, here the sound could not be better, the electricity of his band on rocking form, plus a few more mandolins, violins, accordions and fiddles. On this album Richard is taking on the subject of war, with a touch of love gone wrong [Richard.... Never!!].
Particular highlights at first include the surprising pop perfection found in 'I'll never give it up' and 'Poppy Red', his sublime Iraq song 'Dad's Gonna Kill Me' (yeah, we may be bored of hearing them but to find one with a bit of humor attached is extremely refreshing!) and the swashbuckling 'Johnny's Far Away'.
To be honest, I'm not too keen on the rock&froll feel of 'Bad Monkey'... But every great rt album has one track which you often skip, mainly due to the outstanding greatness of the others!!