More than anything, this album suffered from timing, and high expectations. I didn't really start listening to Ted Leo until last summer (2006) at the Pitchfork Festival, but subsequently devoured both Hearts of Oak and Shake the Sheets. This was one of the most anticipated albums of 2007 for me. And while it's still a very good album (mediocre Ted is better than 99% of what's out there now), it didn't quite live up to the expectations I had following the previous two albums. Perhaps I was exiting a Ted phase at the point in time.
Still, all things considered, it really is an excellent album. It's got all of TL/Rx trappings. And infectious brand of indie punk with boundless energy, devastating hooks, and it plays great live. Still, when all was said and done, it just seemed like I didn't listen to it all that much this year. As I re-enter a Ted Phase, that will probably change.
Standout tracks are Sons of Cain, Colleen, The Unwanted Things, and the World Stops Turning.
Here's Bomb. Repeat. Bomb.; Sons of Cain (Live); and Who Do You Love (solo).