This album is crazy ambitious in both scope and creative thought -- it's a concept album based on John Milton's Paradise Lost. Hart has hit for the fences in the past, with both brilliant and awful results. If the mix is too self-indulgently complex, it becomes pompous crap. If it's too poppy, it's simply drivel. So you have to give him credit for pushing all of his chips to the middle on this one.
And in this case... it really does feel grandiose, right from the beginning. Hart really hit it on the head; the album sounds inspired, and like a total home run. I'm not quite sure what chamber music combined with ethereal rock sounds like, but I'd imagine it sounds like this. Highlights for me include "Is the Sky the Limit?" and "It Isn't Love."
Grant Hart - Is the Sky the Limit?
It's a breakthrough recording for someone you could have written off years ago. Hart is clear and focused, wasting no space vocally in his quest to win the argument. (See what I did there?) It's his best album since Nova Mob's The Last Days of Pompei, which (for me) is saying quite a lot.
CD Placement rating: Car iPod.