I'm halfway through. From the get-go, it's been stripped down, lo-fi as anything he's ever done. Minimal production. It's as though Jonathan and Tommy are right here in the room with me. The guitar sounds huge at times, like a mouse at others. The drums are like a gang of giant excited heartbeats speaking to me.
And the liner notes! By Jonathan himself! Off the cuff, like he's chatting with us about the content of the album. I like how he characterizes his songwriting process: the songs are all "thought up" at one time or another.
"Old World" sounds better than ever. The off-kilter piano noodlings in "Our Party Will Be On The Beach Tonight" are unlike anything I've ever heard Jonathan do (apart from his two soundtrack projects).
OMG: The reprise of "When We Refuse To Suffer", shift in the tone of the record, electric guitar now (big fat sound), kind of calypso, the yearning in the vocals. What kinetic energy!
And then there's this song. The one that made me cry when I heard him play it at the Make-Out Room last year or whenever. And it sounds just like it did there.
P.S. Katie at Mission Mission listened to it before me. Her thoughts here.