Hi All,

Doing some critical listening to this -as I type.

Some pretty accurate comments here preceding mine. It seems to be forming quite a consensus on this offering.

Orchestration on 1st track starts proceedings off well.... Then 'Family Man'- yes, atrocious is the word. Quite a shocking full length MCH track to start an album. They really dropped the ball here. 'Atrocious' is a word I don't use lightly or frequently, but I couldn't see much merit in this mix/song at all. Should not be here- as brings the whole product down.

Next track "How was your ride" puts things back in order with much better treble, and mix. One of the strongest songs in the front end of the album IMHO.

"Sorrys" is next (Is this the worlds most silliest track title?). This is my first Blackfield exposure and the vocal stylings of Aviv (presumably it's him) are a bit zzzzzzzzzz. Quite 1 dimensional aspect to this voice. No real highlight in this song. I was feeling "Sorrys" that I listened to it.

"Life is an Ocean" comes next with some nice piano. Some backup vocals in the rear. Strings to the front right. Mix is decent on this song, although musically comes across as quite generic/formulaic in structure. Nothing here to make you go "wow... That's different." If the track had no piano it would be a bit of a snooze fest. Some treble harshness in the rears at the last minute or so of the song doesn't leave you feeling on a good note about this track.

"Lately" comes next which has a stronger rock element with snarling guitar lead. Mix sounds to my ear's to be Soord like (haven't checked this, so could be completely wrong.) Female vocal makes track a bit more interesting. Then fades out to pretty basic guitar riff.

"October" comes next. More piano and what sounds like Steve on vocals. Some good accentuation on the piano playing. Strings prominent

"The Jackal" comes with a good drum thwack, and great vocal harmonisation in the rear's come chorus. Some 'meaty' sounding jangly guitar up fronts, punctuated with some acoustic sounding strum before embarking into the chorus. Probably up there as one of the best songs on the album- both textually and musically and the mix is quite solid indeed. Makes you unsure how to rate this album -as once again puts in back on track.

"Salt Water" starts off with lovely acoustic arpeggio plucking guitars in rears, with Floyd-esque lead guitar work up front. Another winner that makes you want to forgive the couple of misses near the beginning of the album. Would happily pluck this track out of my NAS for future listening. No vocals which, is kinda nice.

"Undercover Heart" starts off a bit jarring in terms of it's tonal change with bass slap sounding guitar up front. Strings again in rears. Treble sheen however kicks in again at the chorus, but toned down from the earlier failings. This song has some sort of power ballad vibe going on when it hits the chorus. For some reason the lyrics on this one don't come across as corny as the earlier track efforts. If you substituted the language to the Korean language for instance- it would fit the bill for an 'Asian Power ballad' song that I sometimes here in Asian restaurants. Maybe there will be a K-pop cover version one day.... (Upon review reading my comments sounded quite harsh, so I repeated the track again and only found it reconfirmed my first impression.)

"Lonely Soul" grabs me instantly with it's strong bass line and textual percussion in rears which sounds a bit like a triangle being rhythmically hit. Then the Lead female vocal kicks in with a good looping vocal track and some back beat style drumming. Sounds a bit "Moby-ish" to my ears- but in a good way, as it gives the album more variety. I like it. Good track. A good chill out track, with funky vibe going on. This one's a winner.

"From 44 to 48" is a good mix on first impression. Steve on lead vocals always makes the ears more responsive. Really like this track too. Quite a dreamy sounding, somewhat lilting track that makes you want to raise a hand with a lit cigarette lighter. Nice solid drum hits, and controlled treble makes you wonder why it couldn't have been pulled off this way earlier? Then the 'electro-string' kicks in prominently up fronts and it just takes the track to a higher level. Very enjoyable track. Good way to end the album.

This one is very much a mixed bag. I would recommend it on balance, but given it's patchiness would not feel it warrants anymore than a 7. (For all you SW fanboys and girls out there, please don't hurt me for the critique - thankfully his contribution really lifts this album out of the doldrums)