Imagine if Jeff Tweedy had left Uncle Tupelo and gone on to form a band with Beck, instead of Wilco. That's kind of what Chuck Prophet sounds like, and it's really rather good.
Here we have twelve perfectly formed, unashamedly pop songs, ranging from all out alt-country through Blues licks that John Lee would be proud of to pulsating rock and roll, all infused with a sizeable dollop of soul. There are definite parallels with Odelay era Beck in particular, and with Wilco's earlier material, but there's plenty here that's very much Chuck's own as well.
The sound is fairly stripped back, although the addition of a choir on a few tracks adds a bit more meat. Mostly Chuck's voice is backed by a mournfully wailing guitar and a funky drum beat, but it's his voice that takes centre stage.
This album is really good. That's all there is to it, really. It's perfect music for sitting round with friends, maybe on the porch, maybe in the car. It's got soul, and it's got a lot of heart.