Three years had gone by between this release and the previous Mose Allison outing on Atlantic, perhaps giving the artist time to concoct some of the really tasty lyrics he came up with. The opening track, "Just Like Livin'," alternates between absurd satire and to-the-point cynicism in a way that is completely unique to Allison, although many other artists have tried to imitate it. How many songwriters can sum up life in less than two minutes, after all? There are many other highlights as well, including the memorable structure of "City Home" and a rococo reworking of "You Are My Sunshine" that might cause a riot at a wedding if played as a request. A peak perhaps not only of this album but the entire Allison career is the ballad "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy," as powerful an indictment of hypocrisy as has ever been recorded. Bassist Red Mitchell is on hand with his fat but easy to digest sound, and he seems to prompt Allison to play aggressively. Some of the piano solos sound like they were rendered with various martial arts techniques.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne