On his fifth release and second for Nashville-based indie Oh Boy, Todd Snider finds himself in a comfortable, confident mode that easily taps into his often poignant, sometimes off-kilter world view w

On his fifth release and second for Nashville-based indie Oh Boy, Todd Snider finds himself in a comfortable, confident mode that easily taps into his often poignant, sometimes off-kilter world view without sacrificing humor nor his improving melodic instincts. If there is a prevailing theme here, it is change and temporal transition, from the slight frustration of the title cut to the bittersweet remembrance of "Class of '85" and the stubborn steadfastness of "Vinyl Records." Snider shows a surprising knack for tender ballads on "Rose City" and "Anywhere" and exudes anxiety on "Stuck All Night," then makes us laugh with such loveable, goofy nuggets as "Statistician's Blues" and "Beer Run." Like his labelmate and stylistic forebear John Prine, who joins Snider here on Prine's "Crooked Piece of Time," Snider has settled into a groove of consistent quality and potent observation.—RW

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