Just like a real-life bender, Hank III’s second album has moments of shimmering brilliance and some dumb antics; in the end, it’s kind of a pleasant blur. More than on 1999’s Risin’ Outlaw, there’s plenty of non-commercial honky-tonking here. The bass and drums are not studio-pumped, veteran steel-guitar man Kayton Roberts and the other pickers wail, and Hank’s voice is piercing and emotive just like his granddad’s. Most of the tunes are about drinking, and Williams wrote every one of them except for Springsteen’s "Atlantic City," which also appears on the Boss tribute compilation Badlands.
The only exception to the down-home twang is "Trashville," an unexceptional addition to the pantheon of anti–Music City screeds that rocks hard and rowdy like a Charlie Daniels tune — which makes it more Nashville than anything else on the disc. But regardless of whether Williams keeps fighting himself or the industry, his star will almost inevitably rise because of his name, because of the undeniable talent displayed on "Cecil Brown" and "7 Months, 39 Days," and because something is bound to hit when a Williams keeps writing drinking and outlaw songs.