From what I've read, the past year for Gared O'Donnell has been a motherfucker. All the press material for this release has harked on that aspect so I'll spare you the words and just delve into the first solo album from the former vocalist/guitarist of Planes Mistaken For Stars.

I'm going to be upfront about this as best as I can - this is not something that sounds like a carbon copy of PMFS. It has its similarities but it's a body of work that stands on its own. It is a much more subdued beast that shows a man at his most vunerable through song.

That doesn't necessarily answer the eternal question "is it any good?"

To that, I'll respond with "oh yes. It is very good."

Songs like I Do Declare and Hush Money are emotionally stirring and haunting. This is one attribute that is definitely carried over from his days in PMFS. His vocal style has taken on a whole new level of confidence. The vocal harmonies are very well thought out and awe inspiring.

Gone are the heavier leanings that permeated the last few PMFS albums. Not to say it doesn't have its heavier moments because it does but this is a much more soulful and sorrowful offering.

The music is arranged perfectly. The drumming is provided by one of the best of the best in the form of George Rebelo from Hot Water Music. There's a few other musicians on here and they all perform spectacularly. It's a good group he has assembled and they could definitely work up more great songs when it comes times for Year Two.

If you were a fan of PMFS, you have to at least give this a chance. It isn't a punk rock guy finding his country roots, it's one man's search for a peace of mind. If I were doing some sort of top 10 of the year list, this would rank highly because of the personal chord it hit and still resonates with me.