Sound — 10
It's a man with a guitar, Cello and a woman with an angelic voice. This alone would make a stunning album. However more instruments are added into certain songs, like oboes, drums, pianos. Most of the songs start off with an acoustic guitar and crescendo towards the end. But once again Rice mixes it all up perfectly. The seething Cello in Volcanoes brings it to another level. The bluesy swagger of Cheers, Darlin is masterful. There are very few weak songs on this album. The 15 minute epic Eskimo drags on a bit in the middle however. The sound quality is simply marvelous, as one comes to expect from albums these days.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are immensely thought provoking, challenging many issues in life. The marriage of the lryics and music is truly wonderful. Each song has a specific mood and Rice sings beautifully. Whether it be singing a ballad or bellowing at the crescendo, Rice is perfect. The introduction of an almost heavenly female singer works very well, and the interchange between the two works extremely well (eg Volcanoes).
Overall Impression — 10
This man is pretty unique in this day and age, and even whips up a frenzy with pop fans! Volcanoes, Older Chests and CHeers Darlin are the best songs on the album. I love the diversity of the album and the raw nature of Rice. However it might bore many fans of hard metal etc. I love it and cherish forever more. Amen, indeed.