Brown uses the bar to shimmer harmonics or put a sly bend into a lick that gives it that special effect. This set includes new originals like ‘All Roads Lead To Rome’ commences with an ethereal keyboard wash and low register bass burbling before the airy vehicle phrasing and drums creeping into across-time patterns here and there. He can play very fast indeed but chooses not to most of the time and opts to let the songs breathe in regards to the song's space. ‘Blessing In Disguise’ is a soft and reflective outing with a fine vocal. Just listen to his work on Cher’s mysterious and hard-to-find heavy rock album ‘Black Rose’ for proof.
The jazzy and European-mood ‘Brigitte’s Blues’ is a nod to a Gallic beauty and believe me there is a backstory here… At 3:10, the axe starts to sing like a nocturnal hummingbird over the shuffling chordal chug while the loping funk of ‘California Zen’ has maybe the best singing performance on the album. The chorus has a light lifting effect as the soft-psych touches tickle the ears. One quick point, this crafted music takes on different timbres depending upon the playback volume selected.
Regal volume swells herald ‘Good To Be Back’ which expresses some regrets at life as lived but stresses survival and the attainment thereof. Yet again, some lovely vocal arrangement touches and they surely suit this poem-set-to-music. Linear guitar emerges loud and proud. “Lost In Austin” is a guitar journey that has Brown's ‘Love Will Find The Way’ starting eerily before a dark rhythm takes over and into a song about the search for love; ‘One Teaspoon at a Time’ sounds as though it is looking for film to feature in with its horn touches; the strident ‘Paper Doll’ has an immediacy that sets it apart from the dreamier tinge of much of the material here.an excellent vocal. “Shakespeare Told Me” is a jagged stabbing song, which is catchy as hell and finds Brown sounding a tad conspiratorial and spinning out curled guitar riffs over clipped funk chords.
A sinister tread tracks ‘Strangers In Paradise’ with vocal mixed forward over what sounds like fretless bass and short-delay damped guitar chording. This is maybe the best song here, ‘Trouble’ that Phil Brown's electric folk sound delivers. The set closes with ’Crossroads’ with its blues arrangement from the late Robert Johnson's gem.