Beware, I am an original parkerphile, so objectivity might be beyond me, but this really is I believe a wonderful piece of work by any standards. The first 4 tracks in particular could hold their own on any GP album you care to name and most anything I've heard for a very long time; Long Emotional Ride is simply one of the best songs I've heard in the past 5 years with the capacity to squeeze a tear from the hardest hearted old cynic; Snake Oil Capital of the World's sneaky reggae inevitably invites comparisons with past glories but has a lyrical bite and wit all the new Mr Parker's own. There's even a bit of politics and 2 tracks featuring that rock n' roll powerhouse the kazoo!
Parker's voice has lost a touch of it's gravelly growl but he seems to have discovered a new octave which more than makes up for that. The Rumour are still what they always were, perhaps the finest backing band on the planet, plus some more tricks they have learnt in the past 30 years. You can sense their collective joy at the sound they are producing.
I thought the new Dexys album and tour and the return of Kevin Rowlands was the comeback of the year, but now I'm not so sure. We are truly blessed to have KR and GP back and firing on all cylinders. Now all we need is GP and the R to announce their UK tour dates for 2013 and all will be well with the world.
Buy this album and force everyone you know to do likewise; they will be eternally grateful to you.