17 Songs, 1 Hour 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arriving on the heels of two best-selling memoirs, Jimmy Barnes’ 17th solo album continues that unflinching self-examination. Personally as well as musically: The Aussie icon reconnects with his hard-hitting past—including his Cold Chisel collaborator Don Walker, who co-wrote half the songs here—for a robust bout of dark and stormy heartland rock. Written for Barnes by country star Troy Cassar-Daley, the lead single “Shutting Down Our Town” is a swaggering blue-collar lament, while “My Demon (God Help Me)” finds his grainy, full-bodied singing at its fieriest as a rusty-sounding slide guitar hammers home the mournful message.

Recording with his regular live band, including You Am I guitarist Davey Lane, Barnes mixes up his surrounds as well, from the stately piano that opens “Belvedere and Cigarettes” to the two distinct versions of “Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire).” Barnesy's raw, ringing voice is in top form, ranging from throaty country singing on a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest” to earthier blues and gospel tones elsewhere. But the biggest surprise has to be the gritty dirge-style treatment of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” including an ominous martial drumroll.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arriving on the heels of two best-selling memoirs, Jimmy Barnes’ 17th solo album continues that unflinching self-examination. Personally as well as musically: The Aussie icon reconnects with his hard-hitting past—including his Cold Chisel collaborator Don Walker, who co-wrote half the songs here—for a robust bout of dark and stormy heartland rock. Written for Barnes by country star Troy Cassar-Daley, the lead single “Shutting Down Our Town” is a swaggering blue-collar lament, while “My Demon (God Help Me)” finds his grainy, full-bodied singing at its fieriest as a rusty-sounding slide guitar hammers home the mournful message.

Recording with his regular live band, including You Am I guitarist Davey Lane, Barnes mixes up his surrounds as well, from the stately piano that opens “Belvedere and Cigarettes” to the two distinct versions of “Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire).” Barnesy's raw, ringing voice is in top form, ranging from throaty country singing on a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest” to earthier blues and gospel tones elsewhere. But the biggest surprise has to be the gritty dirge-style treatment of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” including an ominous martial drumroll.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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