Joe Henry leans heavier into the jazz that he began exploring in 2001's "Scar." His experimental side has been on display in previous releases, but he's never gone quite this far. His country-rock roots have been almost totally abandoned here, but his gruff voice goes well with the territory, especially on the title cut and on "Sold." There's a disconnect between the lyrics and music at times: The jazz bent doesn't always support Henry's social commentary, but he does succeed in mating the two in "Flag." Henry relegates the guitar to a background position, but occasionally teases with the hint of a grittier six-string role, as on "Sold," which may be his lone nod to his roots.
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