by Bruce Middleton
Man, this has got to be the best Skynyrd album since the original band’s 6 albums in the 70’s. The production is top notch … every instrument sounds great … love that drum sound … the mix between the 3 guitars is sublime. The whole band sound like they’re at the top of their game. The songs are excellent …. they sound like a young band again … but very wise and seasoned. The lyrics are very “Skynyrd” …. Singing about the everyman, with some personal touches thrown in, from a band of true survivors. Johnny Van Zant’s vocals sound better on this album than I’ve ever heard him before. And dare I say it? …. He’s a better singer than his brother ever was. Some people may call that blasphemy, but I think it’s the truth. Ronnie was more about attitude than vocal ability. Johnny has both. Yes, Johnny sounds rough and raw live, but on this album, his vocals are perfect. The band just sound amazing as a whole …. the way they play off one another and blend it all together. You also can’t beat Gary Rossington’s slide guitar and Ricky Medlocke’s wailing solos.
My only gripe on this album is that the regular version is lacking the 2 studio bonus tracks I got with the Classic Rock Fan Pack, “Poor Man’s Dream” and the honky-tonk rebel-rouser “Do It Up Right”, which I know is going to kick butt live. They are great kick-ass tunes that would have put the regular version over the top (the Fan Pack also has an additional 2 live songs which sound great).
This album is great southern rock! Who says that old rockers can’t do it anymore?!!
Score : 8 out of 10