Quite a testament. Singer/guitarist Strummer finished this moving, exciting album before his sudden death in late 2002.

Quite a testament. Singer/guitarist Strummer finished this moving, exciting album before his sudden death in late 2002. It may be the most satisfying and powerful of the three Mescaleros projects. While traces of the world-beat stylings that animated previous sets are on hand, this entry is a hard-rocking collection that looks back at Strummer's Clash roots. There are some ripping tunes here. "Coma Girl," "Get Down Moses" and "All in a Day" are all compellingly penned and feature the bandleader's strongest vocals ever. Appropriately, the album also contains a pair of Strummer salutes to his heroes: "Long Shadow," dedicated to Johnny Cash, now also no longer with us, and a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." The reflective "Silver and Gold" may bring some fans to tears. An exceptional farewell.—CM