However, he has focused his lyrics and become less sarcastic and caustic (for that pick up his great EPs from last year). Many of the songs remind me of the great Elton John songs of the 70s with an edge. This album is also heavy on ballads (or slow songs, since he is no traditional balladeer- his song to his wife is called "Prison Food" and about the fact that one of them will have to die first).
However, the highlight of the CD is the Brian Wilsonesque "Jesusland" which is more of a conversation with Jesus as they survey the landscape of suburban America in the red states. It is not sarcastic, but tender and insightful (why is it that the "secular" artists always have a more intriguing take on Christianity than most "Christian" artists). The highlight lyrics are...
Town to town
Broadcast to each house
They drop your name
But no one knows your face
Billboards quoting things you never said
You hang your head and pray
The second best line from the song is
"crosses flying high above the malls along the walk through Jesusland"