On their 14th album, the hard-working band famous for reinventing itself is still taking chances, pushing boundaries and hitting homers.
"Another Side," the standout first song on this generous 13-track package, does something even Bob Dylan had problems with. It's an antiwar ballad that's not only poignant and powerful, but catchy. It's written from the politically incorrect Southern side, so it'llprobably be controversial among those who don't realize it's actually about all wars.
On the rocker "Small Talk," the boys skewer America's obsession with gossip and dirt and our resultant alienation with lines like "We got a TV talk show/Talkin' about a radio talk show/Talkin' about how no one's talkin' anymore." When it comes to human relationships, Mark Miller and company take us all the way from how hard it is to find somebody ("Transistor Rodeo"), to how good it feels once you finally do ("A Love Like This"), to how hard it is to heal when it ends ("Between You and Paradise").
It used to be said of the Rolling Stones that they were "The only band that matters." When it comes to country, that title belongs to Sawyer Brown.