I'm guessing that most Mark Eitzel fans will buy this regardless of what they read about it, but never the less, here is my initial thoughts on the album.
Well, I cannot praise this album enough. If I had to do a comparison, I would say it sits somewhere between "60 Watt Silver Lining" and the last American Music Club release "The Golden Age".
It has a nice moody broody late night jazzy feel and Marks vocals sit perfectly in this setting. In fact, his singing sounds purposely laid back on many songs. It's breathier than usual without verging into crooner territory.
It's great to hear him working with musicians again. As much as I like a lot of the songs Mark recorded alone for "Candy Ass", "Klamath" and "Brannan Street", I've been waiting for another album like this where additional musicians get to add extra atmosphere to his songs.
All the arrangements on this album are understated and never seem to over-take or interfere with the songs.
I really hope he continues to work with these people on this album when it comes to future projects.
Vudi also guests on Guitar, which is always a great thing as far as I'm concerned. Everything this guy does with Mark seems to fit perfectly. He always seems to know what is needed, every time.
At just under 45 minutes it doesn't overstay it's welcome. Not that I could ever get bored of Mark, I just think that 45 minutes is the perfect length for any album. If I had to find fault, I might be tempted to complain that "All My Love" already appears on "The Golden Age", but the track has has a different treatment here and sits perfectly with the rest of the album.
If you're a fan of Mark, then just buy it. You will not be disappointed.
If you like laid back albums with great songs, then try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.