I have read Rod from Tokyos reveiw and upon first hearing would have given a similar conclusion to Mr Ashcroft's no 2 album. Upon further listening though, different views appear. Chris potter's production is in one word immaculate in another sqeaky clean. But you hear method in what could be seen as madness. Never has Richard Ashcrofts voice sounded so majestic as on album opener 'check the meaning'. Comparable to Dion or Scott Walkers grandest statements, you hear a sweet, smooth ( yet a little sinister ) musical backing, fronted by a towering vocal which like Bing or Frank becomes AN INSTRUMENT! The other diverse songs come in the form of 'lord i've been trying', 'nature is the law', 'pleasure', 'god in the numbers'. All great peices of music, with country, classical, blues, and pet sounds all coming in to play. It's THAT voice though that gives it a razor sharp edge. The music glides, pushes and translates emotion to accompany THE VOICE. So in the end.... Its really special, just like Richard Ashcroft always promises. By the way, I take it everyone elses heart melted when hearing the 'nature is the law' backing vocal. Two hard working perfectionists on one recorded peice of music. It sure beats will young and gareth gates churning stomachs on that beatle duet! Keep the faith. The word is love.