A different perspective perhaps from the other reviewers who are obviously long standing admirers of the music of Mark Kozelek in his various guises and Jimmy Lavelle. I came to this album from a recurring source - Uncut sampler of new music which featured 'Somehow the wonder of life prevails'. Despite knowing of Mark Kozelek I have not heard much of his music and know nothing of Jimmy Lavelle. However I think I may have to rectify this after getting this thoroughly enjoyable album. As has already been said these are a series of lyrically rich stories complemented by restrained and simple musical accompaniment. The two sit together really well with the alternating tone and delivery of the vocal heightening the effect of the songs on many occasions. I find the lyrics clever, engrossing and interesting. This ensures that on every play, despite the length of the songs, I am totally absorbed in the storyline ( also still trying to fill in the gaps where the vocal is not particularly clear and would echo the remarks of the previous reviewer in respect of provision of a lyric sheet). The lyrics are so detailed and are fleshed out by reference to down to earth and apparently mundane information (a couple of examples off the top of my head - on 'Gustavo' a phone call from Mexico comes out as 'called me collect from a Tijuana payphone' and the recited list of hotels on Caroline). I enjoy the whole album but 'Gustavo' and 'Somehow the wonder of life prevails' are particular favourites. Having bought recent recordings by artists I have loved for many years it is perhaps indicative of how highly I rate this album as it gets more plays than any of the others.