Rating: 7 broken backs out of 10
I've listened to Damien Jurado for a number of years now, absolutely loving some of his records and liking all of them. This one seems a little...different. It has a strong western vibe to it, as if the boys from Calexico helped produce it. I feel like I should be wandering amongst giant cacti while listening. I often get bothered when favorite artists tweak or change their sounds, but I was taken with this record right away, and not just because it's different. It's still largely the same Jurado you expect - mellow, somber folk songs with occasional rock moments, only this time out there is a little bit of fancy decoration on the package. Certainly, long time fans like myself will find plenty to love here.
As a side note, this man is responsible for one of my all-time favorite songs by any artist, ever: "Ohio" from the album "Rehearsals For Departure." If you don't know it, seek it out. Your life will be better for it.