Minneapolis wordsmith/singer/guitarist Dan Israel and his Cultivators deliver a moving, catchy batch of ditties on this, their second full-length release. The songs are world-weary, yet hardly jaded, with nuggets of hope buried in their centers. Israel ruminates on heartbreak, loneliness, and detatchment with a distinct Midwestern flair, and the band itself is tightly focused and right in time with the melancholy mood of the lyrics. Lead guitarist Tom Sampson throws out sublime, country-pop inflected licks with an understated grace, while the rhythm section (Jeremy Smith on bass, Andy Rauh on drums) easily juggles the fragile combo of Israel's dramatic vocals and jangly strumming. Lending their admirable talents are ex-Geardaddy Randy Broughten on pedal steel, Jayhawk sideman Mike "Razz" Russell on fiddle, and honey-voiced Kristin Mooney on backing vocals. With a collection of material this strong and friends like that on board, this record promises to be The Cultivators' long-awaited breakthrough- straight from mama's kitchen to you.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Hallett