Cover art included, liner notes not included
Formerguitarist is not prolific. is only his fourth solo studio album (though it follows his late band's final album, , by only ten months). recorded some 35 songs for this set, some dating back 18 years. Trimming them to ten couldn't have been easy. Titled for 's second book in Paradise Lost, is structured as an informal song cycle to reflect the sometimes random, sometimes weightier thought processes of a typical person in a single day. It begins, appropriately, with the instrumental "5 A.M.." Orchestrated by , 's signature slow, bluesy, Stratocaster sting enters just 30 seconds in, followed by fingerpicked acoustic guitars, gentle synths, and electric piano amid chamber strings to announce the title-track single. It's the first of five songs co-written with novelist , 's wife. His meaty guitar lines mirror the spirit of the lyrics, which reflect dissent and the redemption that lies in the freedom to choose. Co-producer 's Hammond organ, two funky basslines, and soaring chorus vocals from , , and the Liberty Choir provide a smooth AOR feel. "Faces of Stone" is a waltz done as a tango, colored by -esque atmospherics and an extended wailing guitar break. The ageless harmonies of and grace "A Boat Lies Waiting," a moving, understated tribute to keyboardist . 's slide hovers above 's elegant piano, chamber strings, and the cry of gulls. 's lyrics are economical but mighty, capturing bittersweet nostalgia, pain, and loss in their poignancy. "In Any Tongue" chillingly examines the toll of a global war run by men with deadly joysticks (to drones) in their hands: "God help my son/What has he done?/...I hear 'Mama' sounds the same in any tongue…." In "Beauty," and trade contrasting minimal piano and blues-rock guitar lines as strings and reverb bridge them. Second single "Today" commences as a hymn, but erupts into wonky funk driven by 's bass. Here the silken, rockist disco of -era clashes with -era , and it all works -- dramatic orchestral accompaniment notwithstanding. Instrumental closer "And Then…" features 's expressive Strat and acoustic guitars. 's drums and ' percussion frame them amid a backdrop of strings. This tune is so lyrical that 's guitar playing literally sings, making it one of his finest instrumentals. As a whole, reveals more confident and developed songwriting from and ; they'll be a near-symbiotic team in the future. It is a snapshot of where is as a musician in 2015, and not by any means a grand portrait or statement to sum up his career.